Tropical Storm Andrea, 5 a.m. Thursday:
OUTLOOK: Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, emerged in the northeast Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday evening and is forecast to hit the northwest coast of Florida by Thursday night. For now it is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane.
FLORIDA ALERTS: A tropical storm warning has been issued for much of Florida's west coast, from Boca Grande to Indian Pass. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Flagler Beach in northeast Florida north to Cape Charles Light, Virginia.
LOCATION: About 220 miles southwest of Tampa
STRENGTH: 60 mph sustained winds
MOVEMENT: Northeast at 13 mph
WHAT FLORIDA CAN EXPECT: The center of Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to reach the coast of Florida's Big Bend in the Panhandle on Thursday. Andrea could produce up to 8 inches of rain along its path and generate a storm surge up to 4 feet, and that combination could cause flooding in coastal areas.
PARTICULARS: Andrea is projected to remain a weak tropical storm with sustained winds of 45 mph when it makes landfall, as the system is being hampered by wind shear.
The long-range forecast calls for the system to retain tropical storm strength as it diagonals northwest across North Florida on Thursday, hug the Georgia and South Carolina coastlines on Friday and fizzle in the Atlantic off the Northeast coast on Saturday.
OTHER SYSTEMS: None at this time.
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