Weather Emergencies

Jacksonville University and Northeast Florida can experience severe weather to include heavy thunderstorm activity with associated lightning, tornadoes, and on rare occasions in the winter, ice storms and light snowfall.  Weather related emergencies have the potential to cause injury or death to students and staff, as well as damage to buildings, other infrastructure, and large trees on campus.

  • Severe Thunderstorms – A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.

  • Tornado – A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year.


  • Tornado Watch – National Weather Service determined that tornadoes are possible in the area. Remain alert for approaching storms.


  • Tornado Warning – National Weather Service determined that a tornado is occurring, or likely to occur within minutes, in the specified area. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. tornado or tornadoes have been sighted in the area


  • Lightning and Flood Threats – While much of the focus during severe weather is on tornadoes, wind and hail, there are actually more deaths caused each year by flooding and lighting, which are also commonly associated with severe weather. If you hear thunder or see lighting, head inside immediately! Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder. Heavy rainfall from thunderstorms can quickly cause rivers and streams to over flow and cause street flooding. Reminder, if you encounter a flooded road/ street, do not attempt to drive or walk into it.


  • Hurricanes are tropical cyclonic storms that combine wind, rain, storm and tidal surge that can be devastating to coastal areas along the Gulf and East Coasts of the United States. Certain terminology related to hurricane reporting must be defined to understand the provisions of this plan.
  • Hurricane – tropical cyclonic storm with winds in excess of 73 mph
  • Storm Surge – dome of water (50-100 miles wide) that hits coastline
    prior to storm arrival. Greatest threat to coastal life and property.
  • Storm Tide – combination of storm surge and normal tides
  • Tropical Storm – named tropical cyclone with winds 39-73 mph
  • Tropical Storm Warning – storm conditions expected in 24 hours
  • Tropical Storm Watch – storm conditions possible in 36 hours
  • Tropical Depression – tropical cyclone with winds less than 39 mph
  • Tropical Cyclone – common term used to describe all circulating
    weather systems (counterclockwise in Northern Hemisphere).