Tampa, Florida -- After bringing heavy rain to Florida's west coast, Tropical Storm Andrea has now made landfall over the Big Bend.
The storm prompted multiple watches and warnings across Tampa Bay after the National Hurricane Center upgraded it on Wednesday from a tropical disturbance to a tropical storm.
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The latest advisory from the National Weather Center as of 5:45 p.m. says Tropical Storm Andrea has made landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida.
There were frequent Tornado Warnings throughout central Florida throughout the morning and early afternoon. A Tornado Watch for the Bay area was canceled at 7 p.m.
Storm Location and Information as of 5:45 p.m.:
- Location - 29.5N 83.4W
- About 35 miles WNW of Cedar Key, Florida
- About 70 miles W of Gainesville, Florida
- Maximum sustained winds - 65 MPH
- Present Movement - NE at 17 mph
- Minimum central pressure - 993 MB
Watches and Warnings:
A Tropical Storm Warning is discontinued for the Florida Panhandle west of the Ochlockonee River. It is still in effect for Florida's west coast from Boca Grande to the Ochlockonee River; Flagler Beach, Florida to Cape Charles Light, Virginia; Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds; and lower Chesapeake Bay, south of New Point Comfort.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.
Discussion and 48-hour outlook:
At 5:40 p.m. Thursday, the center of Tropical Storm Andrea made landfall in Dixie County, Florida, about 10 miles south of Steinhatchee. At the time of landfall, Andrea had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.
Andrea is moving northeast near 17 mph, and this motion is expected to continue with an increase in speed during the next day or two. It is expected to move up along the east coast of the United States through Saturday.
The storm should weaken now that it has made landfall, and Andrea is expected to lose its tropical characteristics by Saturday as it moves through the eastern U.S.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, to the east of the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 993 mb (29.32 inches).
Hazards Affecting Land:
Wind: Tropical Storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by Thursday afternoon making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
Storm surge: The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.
- Tampa Bay northward to Apalachicola: 2 to 4 ft
- Florida west coast south of Tampa Bay: 1 to 2 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the south of the landfall location. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle and can vary greatly over short distances.
Rainfall: Andrea is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches over much of the Florida peninsula, eastern parts of the Florida Panhandle and Southeastern Georgia with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches possible. Total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are also expected over eastern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina.
Tornadoes: Isolated tornadoes are possible over the Florida peninsula today
Rainfall totals over the next several days could exceed 6 inches with the majority of rain falling tonight and Thursday. This would likely cause urban and small stream flooding in vulnerable areas. Given that strong wind shear remains forecast as Andrea moves through the Gulf of Mexico, there will be a threat for at least a few waterspouts and isolated tornadoes. The most likely time period for this threat would be through much of the day on Thursday. The threat should begin over the south and move north during the day with areas from Tampa northward seeing the best chance for a spin up.
As Andrea approaches the West Central Florida coastline on Thursday, surge from this system is expected to push water levels 1.5 to 2.0 feet above the normal high tide. Likely time frame would be the late morning/early afternoon Thursday high tide. This may cause minor coastal flooding on Thursday.
Tampa Bay area forecast:
Tonight Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Low around 76. South wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Friday Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 2pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. Southwest wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Friday Night A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 77. South southwest wind 9 to 11 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Southwest wind around 10 mph.
Saturday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 77. West southwest wind 5 to 8 mph.
Sunday A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. South southeast wind 6 to 9 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Sunday Night A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75.
Monday A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90.
Monday Night A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Tuesday A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90.
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