It’s only June sixth, and the National Hurricane Service has named its first tropical storm in 2013, Andrea. At 11 a.m. ET, winds were measured at 60 miles per hour, and the storm was moving northeast at 15 mph. It was located about 110 miles west of Tampa. Its path is expected to remain along the northeast coastline, reaching Maine by Saturday.
“The rain covers a good portion of the Florida peninsula,” said Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the hurricane center in Miami.
Six tornadoes, related to Andrea, have been reported in Florida. Andrea will bring heavy rain, gusty winds, rough surf and severe thunderstorms to much of Florida on Thursday, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
When Andrea reaches landfall, a rainfall of four to seven inches is expected. Storm warnings have been issued for Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The tropical storm is not expected to reach hurricane force.
The system has already produced drenching rain in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and in western Cuba.
Hurricane season officially opened on June 1st. Andrea began forming last night, on June 5th. Hurricane spotters had been watching a growing low pressure area, and hurricane-hunting aircraft confirmed its formation in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday evening.
Andrea has been increasing in strength. Tropical storm force winds were detected as far away as 140 miles from its center.
The National Hurricane Center is expecting 13-20 named storms this season, which ends of November 30th. ‘Named’ storms include both tropical storms and hurricanes. Between seven and 11 of those storms are expected to develop into hurricanes.
Although the season’s official end is November 30th, named storms have been known to form beyond the end date.
Andrea has the distinction of being the first named tropical storm of 2013.
The Guardian Express