Science & Environment

Ocean In Parts Of Florida Hits Hot Tub Temperatures

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — In the sweltering summer time warmth, no person tries to chill off by leaping right into a scorching tub. In components of Florida, nonetheless, that’s what the ocean has felt like.

Earlier this week, sea surface temperatures reached as high as 101.2 levels Fahrenheit (38.4 levels Celsius) across the state’s southern tip in Manatee Bay, in line with the National Weather Service — though scientists mentioned the context for Monday’s studying is difficult.

“It was like there was no difference between humidity of the air and going into the water,” mentioned Chelsea Ward of Fort Myers, Florida.

Beachgoers wade within the ocean at Crandon Park, Friday, July 28, 2023, in Key Biscayne, Florida.

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Triple-digit ocean temperatures are beautiful even in Florida, the place residents are used to the warmth and the place many retirees discover refuge from chilly, northern winters. Several different close by spots reached the mid-90s (about 35 Celsius). A storm lastly got here by on Wednesday, serving to water temperatures drop again down in to the extra temperate 80s (about 29 Celsius).

Humans naturally look to water for an opportunity to refresh. Every summer time, tens of millions seize their swimsuits for a day on the seashore and an opportunity to chill off within the water — a break from on a regular basis work and fear. Pools supply the identical reduction and a spot for associates to assemble. But when water temperatures get too high, among the attraction is misplaced.

Ward, 47, doesn’t maintain her seashore bag in her automotive anymore regardless that she lives minutes away from the seashore in Fort Myers. Lately, the water is simply too scorching. On Sunday, when her buddy asked if she wished to go to the seashore, the 2 determined towards it after discovering the water temperature was round 90 levels (32 levels Celsius).

When it’s scorching, the body cools down by sweating, which evaporates and releases warmth. Dipping into the ocean is often so refreshing as a result of warmth effectively transfers out of your body into the water. But as water temperatures climb, that impact diminishes and also you lose much less warmth much less rapidly, in line with Michael Mullins, a Washington University toxicologist and emergency drugs doctor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

A scorching tub — or a stretch of ocean water hotter than body temperature — reverses the switch of warmth into your body. That’s not a pleasing expertise on a scorching, humid, Florida day.

“It would feel,” Mullins mentioned, “like you are swimming in soup.”

Boats are anchored at Manatee Bay off the Florida coast near Key Largo, on Friday, July 28, 2023.
Boats are anchored at Manatee Bay off the Florida coast close to Key Largo, on Friday, July 28, 2023.


People already have a tendency to not swim that a lot within the Florida waters that had been so extraordinarily scorching earlier this week. The water can get muddy and there are alligators and crocodiles within the space, too.

But high temperatures wherever could make swimming much less nice. Through Friday, Phoenix endured highs above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 levels Celsius) every single day this month. Pools are heat. About 150 miles (240 kilometers) to the northwest in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Stefanee Lynn Thompson, 50, wished to maintain friends cool for a pool social gathering she hosted Sunday. The warmth had raised the pool’s temperature to 96 levels (36 Celsius).

Her buddy really useful she go purchase ice blocks. She ran to the grocery retailer, picked up 40 of them and dumped them within the pool. She arrange followers, too. All that tough work dropped the pool’s temperature a grand complete of 4 levels (7 levels Celsius).

“When it’s 120 out, anything helps,” Thompson mentioned.

Recently, ocean temperatures off the western coast of Florida have been a couple of levels above regular, sitting round 88 to 90 levels (31-32 levels Celsius). It’s not simply people that undergo when the oceans heat. Sea corals are bleaching. They may be harm when water temperatures rise above the higher 80s (low 30 levels Celsius).

July has been so scorching that scientists announced a global heat record even earlier than the month ended. Climate change is creating a warmer world, warming oceans and making some storms extra damaging. Sea floor temperatures are considerably above common round Florida, however they’re far larger in components of the North Atlantic close to Newfoundland the place they’re as a lot as 9 levels Fahrenheit (5 levels Celsius) hotter than ordinary.

The extraordinarily high sea floor temperatures recorded earlier this week off Florida’s southern tip had been brought on by numerous solar, little wind and no storms.

“I’ve never seen temperatures 100 degrees in Florida Bay in the 21 years I’ve been in the Keys,” mentioned Andy Devanas, science officer on the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida.

Beachgoers lounge in Crandon Park, Friday, July 28, 2023, in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Beachgoers lounge in Crandon Park, Friday, July 28, 2023, in Key Biscayne, Florida.

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell


And there are some questions on how consultant Monday’s 101.2-degree studying in Manatee Bay had been. Water there may be shallow and thus heats up rapidly. If there’s numerous sediment, that may elevate temperatures, too, in line with David Roth, a forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

By distinction, cease by the YMCA swimming pools on the North Shore of Massachusetts close to Boston and also you’ll descend into water that’s round 78 to 80 levels (26 to 27 levels Celsius). The ocean close by is cooler, too. Sea floor temperatures off Cape Cod, for instance, barely touched the mid-70s (about 24 levels Celsius) this week.

When Maria Argueta, 38, has break day from her job at an open-air ornamental plant nursery in Homestead, Florida, she’ll go together with her household to swim.

“This year, the heat is stronger,” she mentioned.

The scorching ocean water doesn’t trouble her, however generally she takes her 2-year-old son and different family members to the Venetian Pool, a public facility in Coral Gables fed by water from an aquifer that’s all the time within the 70s. The very cool water, she mentioned, is refreshing.

Florida’s humid climate makes it tougher for sweat to evaporate and funky the body down. People in south Florida know the ocean doesn’t have a tendency to supply actual reduction from that suffocating warmth.

“You aren’t getting much cooling at all,” Roth mentioned. “Nobody goes into the water in South Florida in the summer really except to swim, because it is comfortable to swim, but it is not refreshing.”

AP journalist Seth Borenstein contributed reporting from Washington, Dupuy reported from New York and Phillis reported from St. Louis. The Associated Press receives help from the Walton Family Foundation for protection of water and environmental coverage. The AP is solely liable for all content material. For all of AP’s environmental protection, go to

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