Jacksonville’s first heat advisory sets tone for rest of summer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville went under its first heat advisory of the summer Tuesday. The air temp was 98 degrees. The heat index: was 110 degrees, that’s the top 25 hottest heat index for the month of June, according to Chief Meteorologist Richard Nunn.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s all week.

If you’re like Carl Jefferson, sitting in the shade, with a cold drink, is how he stays cool.

“I enjoy it (the heat) it doesn’t bother me. I don’t be in it, that’s why,” said Jefferson.

He lives in an area that tends to get hotter than others.

That’s according to a 2022 heat map from the City of Jacksonville and the University of North Florida.

We asked UNF assistant professor Dr. Adam Rosenblatt to compare last year’s data to the heat advisory Jacksonville is under Tuesday.

“What I can tell you for sure is that this summer is going to be one of the hottest summers on record globally and probably in Jacksonville as well. Because the climate crisis is continuing and because its an El Nino Year,” said Dr. Rosenblatt.

The map lets you go block by block.

If you press the layer list, it allows you to choose the morning, afternoon, or evening temperatures.

We’re told when this study was conducted in June 2022 – the evenings were the hottest.

Clusters of red form around downtown Jacksonville, the St. Johns Town Center, San Marco, and parts of the Northside.

“Tons of asphalt, very little tree cover, very little green space. And that traps a lot of heat, and heats up those areas very dramatically,” said Dr. Rosenblatt.

We asked News4Jax Chief Meteorologist Mark Collins what these areas are going to feel like on Tuesday.

“Easily like 108° so that’s when you factor in the humidity,” said Collins. “This is the longest streak of 90° temperatures that we’ve been in for the year. And we’re probably going to see more of that over the next several months.”

The city is growing with new apartments that tend to take up green space.

Dr. Rosenblatt said those apartments are energy efficient, and they keep green landscaping along the outside.

Also growing is the chance of getting more pools, senior centers, libraries, and other places for people to go cool down, in neighborhoods that need it, based off this map.

“Extreme heat kills a lot of people. And so people need to protect themselves. When there’s a heat advisory, one thing people can do is sign up for Alert Jax. You can take steps to protect yourself, stay inside in air conditioning as much as possible. Limit your time outdoors. And if you don’t have access to a building that has reliable air conditioning, have a plan for where in your neighborhood are those places where you can cool down,” said Dr. Rosenblatt.

Jefferson said he plans to keep cool his way.

“Well I just stay out the sun. Sit right here and enjoy my beer,” said Jefferson.

We’re told in September the city will release its climate resilience strategy.

It will go to city council, and they’ll come up with a plan to implement it.

About the Author:

A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad