Extreme Heat: About

Basic Information

When does heat become dangerous in Florida?

Florida is naturally a hot location.  It is not uncommon for us to experience temperatures in the mid-to-high 90's during our summers.  However, it is rare for us to exceed 100°F in Tallahassee.  The actual air temperature isn't the only concern.  When you add high humidity levels into the equation, we get Heat Index temperatures that make it feel like 108°F or more.  That's when things get real dangerous. 


How hot does it get in Tallahassee?

Tallahassee, on average, will start to break 90°F for daily high temperatures by late-May or early-June and stay there until mid-to-late September.  It is quite normal to see daily high temperatures up to about 95-98 degrees.  When we start to push 100°F, then we're in for a "real hot" day by local standards.  The all-time record high in Tallahassee is 105°F. 


How often does Tallahasseee see extreme temperatures?

While Heat Advisories can occur almost every year during the summer, we average an Excessive Heat Warning about once every 3-5 years. 


What does Heat Index mean? How can it feel hotter than it actually is?

As if the actual air temperature doesn't get hot enough by itself, the effect of adding humidity into the mix makes it feel a whole lot hotter on the human skin.  We will often refer to this as the "feels like" or "apparent temperature."  The higher humidity levels, the hotter it feels above actual air temperature.  Learn More>>


What are the hazards of excessive heat?

During extremely hot and humid weather the body's ability to cool itself is affected. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and heat-related illnesses, including dehydration and hyperthermia may develop. Learn More>>


Who is most at risk for heat-related illness?

Infants and children up to four years of age; people 65 years of age or older; people who are overweight; people who overexert during work or exercise; people who are ill or on certain medications. Don't forget pets which are unacclimated to outdoor weather.


Can leaving a child or pet in a parked vehicle be deadly?

Absolutely! Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. Learn More>>

Definitions & Terms

Excessive Heat Outlook

is issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead time to prepare for the event, such as public utility staff, emergency managers and public health officials. This product is issued by the Climate Prediction Center and can be found here


Excessive Heat Watch

is issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain. A Watch provides enough lead time so that those who need to prepare can do so, such as cities officials who have excessive heat event mitigation plans. The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee will issue this product if the heat index might reach or exceed 113°F. 


Heat Advisory

is issued when an excessive heat event is expected in the next 24 hours. This products are issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant discomfort or inconvenience and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to life. The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee will issue this product if the heat index might reach 108-112°F. 


Excessive Heat Warning

is issued when an excessive heat event is expected in the next 24 hours. A warning is issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. The warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life. The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee will issue this product if the heat index is expected to reach or exceed 113°F. 

History

What is the record high temperature for Tallahassee?

The all-time record high in Tallahassee was set on June 15, 2011 at 105°F.


What are the highest heat index values observed in Tallahassee? 

During the summer of 2010, there were several days when Tallahassee observed heat index values of 115 to 118°F.  


When was the last Excessive Heat Warning issued for Tallahassee? 

Friday, August 22, 2014 for anticipated temperatures of 100-103°F and heat indices of 110-114°F.   Prior to that, August 1, 2010.