The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather alert for west central Florida, including Hernando County and the greater Tampa Bay area.
A cold front and thunderstorms are expected to move through Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Meteorologists expect frequent lightning and gusty winds, with the possibility of an isolated tornado or waterspout.
Moderate rip currents are expected Wednesday afternoon through Thursday at area beaches, and swimmers are cautioned. Seas of 6-8 feet are expected through Friday morning and small craft advisory is in effect.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is advising area residents to bring pets indoors and secure outdoor furniture and other items. Monitor the news for weather updates, and in the event of a tornado, take shelter in an interior room. In the event of a flood, do not drive through flooded areas.
Report any damages to the Emergency Operations Center by calling (352) 754-4083.