CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Higher risk of rip currents and choppy surf conditions prompted authorities to put up yellow flags along Clearwater Beach Monday.

The yellow flag warns beachgoers of moderate surf and or currents and undertows. Swimmers should use caution and stay close to lifeguards. Those with trouble swimming should wear life jackets.

Clearwater Fire Rescue also warned beach goes that conditions are rough for those headed to the beach for spring break. Authorities also reminded guests to “always swim near a lifeguard.”

If conditions were to worsen, authorities would issue a red flag warning. The red flag indicates high surf or dangerous currents or both. Only strong swimmers should get into the water and use extreme caution if this flag is present.

Credit: Clearwater Fire Rescue Facebook

If there are two flags, the water is closed to the public. The double flags indicate high surf and or strong currents.

A green flag means conditions are calm and it’s safe to swim.

When officials issue a purple flag, it means beachgoers should be cautious of dangerous marine life near the shore, such as Portuguese man o’ war, jellyfish and stingrays.

More information about beach flag warnings is available at