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Triple-Digit Heat Likely to Break Records over Memorial Day Weekend

A heat wave is set to break records across north and central Florida this weekend, some dating back to the 1940's and 50's.

Holiday vacationers will be searching for ways to stay cool over the long weekend as triple-digit temperatures are possible in Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Gainesville. Upper 90s are expected in the Orlando and Tampa metro areas by Memorial Day.

The map below highlights the cities and days where record highs are likely to be tied or broken (shown in red).


The heat index will be an issue as well. Forecasters at the National Weather Service Tallahassee say the heat index is a “more accurate measure of how hot it really feels” when the humidity is factored in. They offered some great advice to their Twitter followers on how to stay safe during the heat wave.

Afternoon showers and thunderstorms normally cool things down a bit across the Sunshine State this time of year, thanks to beginning of the state's rainy season. This year, however, a large and persistent ridge of high pressure is parked over the Southeast U.S. and expected to delay the onset of the wetter pattern. This dome of sinking air will act like a pressure cooker and temperatures will warm a little more each day until it breaks down.

A second high pressure system is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico from the southwest early next week, and this will keep record heat possible through next at least Tuesday or Wednesday. Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center say above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation are expected across most of the state over the next 6 to 10 days, which could exacerbate the ongoing wildfire concerns growing in portions of northeast Florida.

Meteorologists Jeff Huffman and Megan Borowski contributed to this report.


Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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