'Hot even for Florida natives' as heat wave builds

Temperatures have been surging to hot levels even by central and South Florida standards of late, and more is on the way into this weekend, AccuWeather meteorologists say. Temperatures will top the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark across the interior, which is rare because of typically high humidity levels.

"This is an extreme pattern, even for May, as there has not been much rain and there have not been many cool fronts pressing southward into the region," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Florida resident Dave Houk said. "So it will be hot even for Florida natives."

Residents and visitors to the region are strongly encouraged to keep hydrated and take breaks from the sun in the intense heat of the day.

Thunderstorms have been visiting central parts of the Florida Peninsula but have not reached South Florida in large numbers in recent weeks. Meanwhile, frequent downpours have raised flooding concerns in the northern parts of the state in recent days.

May is typically a hot and mainly rain-free month across the Sunshine State, Houk explained. With its intense sunshine, the May heat precedes the temperature-regulating effects of daily thunderstorms that ramp up toward the end of the month and on through the summer.

Typical highs in mid-May are in the middle to upper 80s over much of the Florida Peninsula, Houk said. To push temperatures to 10-15 degrees above the historical average during the late spring in the subtropical zone is significant.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, set an all-time May high-temperature record of 98 degrees on May 11. Daily record highs will be challenged in the South Florida city and many other cities into the weekend, where local sea breezes do not kick in. It is possible the city could match or exceed the all-time May mark once again.

Similarly, Miami will challenge record highs daily through the weekend. In many cases, the records in jeopardy date back to the 1990s. Miami's all-time record May high was 98 degrees in 2017, set on the 28th day of the month.

Some places across the interior of central and South Florida will reach or exceed 100 degrees, especially through Saturday in the region.

Around Orlando, highs will be well into the 90s each day through at least Monday. The hottest day in the city, which is home to multiple theme parks, will be Saturday, when temperatures may challenge the record high of 97 set in 1915 and AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will push past the 100-degree mark. Thunderstorms may erupt on Saturday afternoon and evening.

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Very high humidity helped push AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures well into the 100s at midweek. Humidity levels that dipped on Thursday and Friday are expected to rebound by the weekend.

Key West, Florida, experienced a heat index of 115 degrees F Wednesday, tying its all-time record. The previous record for May was 108. AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures spiked to 103.

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be at or above 100 degrees at just about every spot in the area for several hours each day, even where the actual temperature stops in the mid- to upper 90s.

Along with the ongoing heat, it is possible that smoke from wildfires in Mexico may add to the overall appearance of the pattern. Some of the biggest fire concentrations have been in the Yucatan Peninsula and the south-central part of the Mexico mainland.

Periodic smoke may filter in high overhead in the form of a hazy sky and interesting colors at sunrise and sunset. The plumes of smoke will extend along much of the Gulf Coast states through the weekend.


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