Keep cool this Heat Season

Miami-Dade County is the first community in the world to establish an official Heat Season, which runs from May 1 through Oct. 31. This initiative is critical to help us prepare and protect people, particularly the most vulnerable, from the threat of this ‘silent killer.’ If we combine all climate-related deaths, heat takes the largest toll, and most of those deaths are from our most vulnerable and low-income communities.  

 While Miami-Dade County is known internationally for its vulnerability to hurricanes and flooding, extreme heat causes more deaths and has a greater annual economic impact than any other climate or weather-related disaster. Each year, this silent killer kills approximately 34 people in Miami-Dade County. It also creates economic losses estimated at $10 billion annually primarily from lost worker productivity. Due to climate change and urban development patterns creating longer and hotter summers, heat-related illnesses and the economic burdens associated with heat are on the rise.  

Starting this Heat Season, the NWS will issue heat advisories when it is projected to reach a heat index of 105°F for two or more hours and a heat warning when it is projected to reach a heat index of 110°F for two or more hours. These thresholds are lower than the historic thresholds of a heat index of 108°F and 113°F, respectively. This pilot project is being implemented in partnership with Miami-Dade County which will also include enhanced messaging/communication of daily heat hazards via social media, as well as specialized briefings to emergency managers when the heat index is forecast to reach orange levels on the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HI of 103°F or greater).   

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