(MIAMI) — The first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is here and ready to make landfall.
With maximum sustained winds currently around 60 miles per hour, Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to hit Florida’s West Coast on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s going to move inland near the Big Bend of Florida and then will begin to lose intensity and it will move very fast along the east coast of the United States,” says forecaster Lixion Avila at the National Hurricane Center.
As of 8 a.m., Andrea is about 160 miles west of Tampa, Fla., moving north northeast at 14 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Once it reaches land, nearby residents can expect a lot of rain and wind.
“You don’t want to be in the ocean with those 60 mile per hour winds or on the coast,” Avila says.
Already, the storm has spurred tornado watches and warning, with at least one possible tornado.
“We’ve had tornado warnings all around us this morning,” says ABC News’ Weather Anchor Sam Champion, who is in Clearwater, Fla. “It’s exactly what you expect when these feeder bands of the storm start to work off the Gulf and work onshore through southern and central Florida.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire
Jeff Wuorio, Deseret News