Florida tornadoes can form in a variety of ways and in all seasons, but are often in association with severe thunderstorms. The greatest number of Florida tornadoes occur in June, July and August. These are typically short-lived events that can produce minor damage but seldom take lives. Florida’s most deadly tornado outbreaks have historically occurred in the spring during February, March, and April. In the state, winter and spring tornadoes are often more powerful because of the presence of the jet stream’s high level winds.
Nationally, large tornadoes tend to occur in the late afternoon and early evening hours following buildup of heat in the lower atmosphere. However, in Florida, strong to violent tornadoes are just as likely to occur after midnight as they are in the afternoon. During the late summer and fall, tropical cyclones, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, can spawn tornadoes over the state.
What to Know
Tornado WATCH = conditions are favorable for tornado development. Be aware and monitor weather information.
Tornado WARNING = a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Take protective actions.
What to Do
- Have a Public Alert™ certified NOAA weather radio with battery back-up to receive warnings
- If a tornado WARNING is issued for your location, move to interior areas away from windows, doors, and outside walls
- Vehicles, trailers, and modular buildings may not provide good protection; go to a nearby building
- If outside, seek refuge in a nearby building
- Report campus damages to the University of Florida Police Department at (352) 392-1111
Get More Info
Tornado information from Florida Hazardous Weather Guide
Severe Weather Awareness from the National Weather Service