Severe Weather

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Severe Thunderstorm, Lightning & Tornado

Lightning frequently occurs in Florida, especially during common summer thunderstorms. Always monitor the weather and take precautions to minimize the potential of being affected by lightning and other severe weather.

  • It is important to remain alert during severe weather activity.
  • If outside, seek refuge in a nearby building and move to the interior of the building away from doors and windows. Vehicles and modular buildings may not provide good protection.
  • Avoid seeking shelter under trees, as they may become damaged and fall if struck by lightning.

The National Weather Service may issue severe weather watches or warnings. A watch means that conditions are favorable for development, and you should be aware and monitor weather information. A warning means that activity has been sighted or detected by radar and you should take protective actions. Information on current warnings can be found at www.weather.gov.

USF will send out emergency notifications if there is potential for a tornado to affect a USF campus. Be sure that you are registered to receive MoBull Messages to receive these notifications.

Extreme Temperatures

Florida experiences a wide variety of temperatures throughout the year. Always take into account the weather when planning any outdoor activities. Both extremely hot and cold temperatures can have detrimental health effects.

In the summer months, temperatures can often surpass 90 degrees and it is important to stay hydrated and use sun protection (sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, etc.).


Thunderstorms and tropical cyclones may produce heavy rainfall that can cause flooding events to occur. Learn what to do before, during, and after a flood to stay safe by visiting the National Weather Service Flood Safety page.

Rip Currents

Rip currents are currents of water flowing away from the shore at surf beaches. They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. When caught in a rip current, you may be moved so far offshore that you are unable to get back to the beach because of fear, panic, exhaustion, or lack of swimming skills. To learn more about rip currents and safety visit the National Weather Service Rip Current page.