PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
700 AM EST FRI JAN 29 2010

...JANUARY 29 IS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES AND WILDFIRE AWARENESS DAY...

ALTHOUGH A WARM CLIMATE IS ONE OF CENTRAL FLORIDAS GREATEST NATURAL
ASSETS...TAKEN TO THE EXTREME IT CAN BE HARMFUL AND EVEN FATAL ON THE
HOTTEST DAYS IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. HEAT AND HUMIDITY OF SUMMER
CAN COMBINE TO CAUSE HEAT INDICES NEAR 105 DEGREES...A HEALTH RISK
EVEN TO THOSE USED TO WARM WEATHER. WHEN THE HEAT INDEX EXCEEDS 115
DEGREES LIFE THREATENING HEAT STROKE IS POSSIBLE. ON HOT DAYS...MAKE
SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS. ALTHOUGH YOU
CANT FEEL IT OR SEE IT...ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE
SKIN AND EYES EVEN ON SEEMINGLY CLOUDY DAYS.
 
ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION...OR SIMPLY UV RADIATION...IS STRONGEST FROM 
AROUND 10 AM TO 2 PM WHEN A HIGH SUN ANGLE OCCURS. THE BODYS QUICK 
RESPONSE TO EXCESSIVE UV RADIATION IS SUNBURN...WHICH CAN HAPPEN IN 
ONLY A MATTER OF MINUTES. EXCESSIVE EXPOSURE HAS BEEN PROVEN TO CAUSE
POTENTIALLY FATAL SKIN CANCERS OR CATARACTS...A FORM OF BLINDNESS. 
ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF ALL SKIN CANCER CASES ARE LINKED TO UV RADIATION.
PUT ON SUNBLOCK BEFORE ENGAGING IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

FREEZING TEMPERATURES OCCASIONALLY OCCUR IN EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA EACH 
WINTER. ASIDE FROM HUMAN IMPACTS WITH COLD NIGHT TIME TEMPERATURES AND
DANGEROUS WIND CHILL...FREEZING TEMPERATURES AND FROST MAY SIGNIFICANTLY
IMPACT THE WIDE RANGING AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY. DURING COLD EVENTS...
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN USING PORTABLE HEATERS...AS DEATHS OFTEN OCCUR
AS A RESULT OF FAULTY EQUIPMENT OR FROM IMPROPER USE. NEVER USE CANDLES 
OR COOKING GRILLS TO HEAT INDOOR ENVIRONMENTS. A HOME FIRE MAY RESULT 
AS WELL AS THE LIKELIHOOD OF DEADLY CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING.

THE THREAT OF WILDFIRES IS MOST PRONOUNCED FROM MARCH THROUGH MAY WHEN
THE DRY SEASON COINCIDES WITH INCREASING SUN ANGLE AND WARMER TEMPERATURES.
OCCASIONALLY THUNDERSTORMS WILL SPARK WILDFIRES. WHEN CONDITIONS ARE 
CONDUCIVE FOR THE RAPID SPREAD OF WILDFIRES...THE NATIONAL WEATHER 
SERVICE ISSUES FIRE WEATHER WATCHES AND RED FLAG WARNINGS WHICH INDICATE
THE GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION AND SPECIFIC DAYS WHEN HAZARDOUS FIRE WEATHER 
CONDITIONS EXIST.

IN RECENT YEARS...WILDFIRES HAVE BECOME A LARGER THREAT TO LIFE AND 
PROPERTY DUE TO THE EXPANSION OF URBAN AREAS AND POPULATION GROWTH 
ACROSS THE STATE. MOST CENTRAL FLORIDA WILDFIRES ARE THE RESULT OF
HUMAN ACTIVITIES. ONLY DISCARD CIGARETTES OR MATCHES IN A CLOSED
CONTAINER. OUTDOOR BURNING SHOULD BE CONDUCTED BY TRAINED PERSONNEL
WITH PROPER PLANNING AND USING ADEQUATE EQUIPMENT.

INFORMATION REGARDING EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
CONDUCIVE TO THE SPREADING OF WILDFIRES CAN BE OBTAINED BY VISITING
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/MELBOURNE
AND CLICKING ON THE HAZARDS IMAGE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WEB PAGE.

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PENDERGRAST 

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