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Published: August 31, 2010

UT Protects Campus From Lightning with Thor Guard

The University of Tampa Student Government Association has funded the installation of a campus-wide lightning prediction and warning system to help alert the campus community about impending inclement weather and lightning on or around the UT campus.

The system, THOR GUARD L75, is capable of providing audible and visual warnings in the event that lightning is likely to strike. At UT the system will be used most actively by the departments of athletics, exercise science, campus recreation and ROTC, as well as for general use for protection of the campus community and visitors.

The rooftop system, which consists of three base units on the roof of the Macdonald-Kelce Library, the R.K. Bailey Arts Studios building and the Riverside Center, will alert UT officials when atmospheric weather conditions are imminently likely to produce dangerous lightning strikes on or around the UT campus. In these cases, the system will emit a 15-second warning blast and the strobe lights on the units will illuminate as long as there is danger of a potential strike. Once the lightning threat passes, three 5-second horn blasts will indicate an “all clear,” and the strobe lights will turn off.

When UT is in session, the warning system will be active Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

When the alarms sound, all organized, UT-related outdoor activity will be discontinued and all individuals on the UT campus are advised to seek shelter. However, activation of the alarm does not supersede academic class schedules, nor does it necessarily cancel or postpone regularly scheduled campus events. Plus, the system is only applicable to the UT campus and is not valid for off-campus activities.

The UT community is reminded that individuals must use their own best judgment in inclement weather conditions, and not rely solely on the THOR GUARD system for their personal safety.

The campus community is advised in extreme weather situations to check the UT website for safety updates. To view current weather conditions on the UT campus, go to