For the last 30 years, heat has been the biggest weather-related cause of death in the nation. Now, there's a tool to help the public and decision-makers try and prevent that loss of life. Heat.gov launched July 26 as "one-stop hub" for timely, science-based information on health and heat. The site was launched as an effort by The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other domestic and international partners.
The launch comes as Florida experiences a record-breaking month of heat. Tampa takes the lead recording its hottest month on record ever, since recordkeeping began in 1890, averaging a high temperature of 93.4 degrees for July 2022. The city also recorded its hottest consecutive months, for June and July 2022. Orlando recorded broke its record for second-hottest month with July averaging a high of 94.5 degrees. Additionally, Vero Beach, Gainesville and Ft. Myers all recorded their sixth-hottest months on record. Though Florida has been characteristically hot, the record-breaking heat has not been contained to our state. According to NOAA, June 2022 was the sixth-hottest month in recorded global history.
The newly launched tool will give users access to heat forecasts and heat advisories nationwide. There are a variety of heat mapping tools for both current and future weather. The site also includes specified information for at-risk groups such as children, the elderly, athletes and first responders. And most importantly, the site is full of information on preparedness and response to extreme heat.
Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.