Tropical Storm Andrea, the first of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, churned toward Florida with heavy rain and the potential for tornadoes.
The system was 35 miles (56 kilometers) north-northwest of Cedar Key as of 5 p.m. East Coast time, with top winds of 65 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving northeast at 17 mph and was expected to reach the coast at the Big Bend area south of Tallahassee “shortly.”
The center’s tracking map shows Andrea crossing Florida between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, then moving over land west of Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia, before entering the Atlantic tomorrow on a path toward Nova Scotia over the weekend.
Andrea is expected to retain tropical-storm-strength winds for at least the next three days.
Tropical-storm warnings are posted for much of Florida’s western coast and for the eastern U.S. from northern Florida to Delaware. Tornado watches are in effect for much of the southern part of the peninsula.
High tides, storm surge and 3 to 6 inches (8 to 16 centimeters) of rain may bring flooding to Florida and Georgia, the center said. As much as 10 inches of rain may fall in some areas.
Two to 4 inches of rain are possible from Washington to the New York City area and to Boston tomorrow and into the weekend, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
The New York City area, including northeastern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, is under a flash flood watch from tomorrow through the next day.