Heat advisory issued for most of Tampa Bay

Thursday in Tampa Bay is shaping up to be another hot one. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory between the hours of noon and 6 p.m.

The heat advisory is for the following counties: Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Manatee, Highlands Desoto and Hardee.
Heat index values, meaning the temperature it feels like outside, could make it feel like it's up to 109 degrees today.

"It's going to be another hot and sultry day today," explained FOX 13's meteorologist Jim Weber. "If you're going to be outside, keep the water handy. You're going to have to stay hydrated in this type of weather."

The first heat advisory issued in Tampa Bay for the summer was on June 24. Weber said a northwest wind has been keeping the weather hot and humid for the area, and discouraging those afternoon thunderstorms.

The Department of Health in Hillsborough County says anyone spending time outdoors during the heat advisory should practice heat safety since hot weather can cause stress on the body.

Health officials provided the following tips:

Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear a hat or to use an umbrella.

Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day - morning hours between 4 and 7 a.m.

Stay indoors when possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.

Be a good neighbor. Check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.

Don't forget your pets. Make sure they have access to water, ventilation and shade.