Tropical Storm Andrea formed in eastern Gulf of Mexico and heading toward Florida


The first tropical storm of 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is named Andrea. Low pressure System (91L) in the Gulf of Mexico became better organized and strengthened into tropical storm on June 5, 2013. 

Andrea has been lingering in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico for several days. It has a large area of disorganized thunderstorms and strong gusty winds over the southeastern Gulf.

GOES-East satellite showed the large extent of the low pressure area stretching from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to Florida on June 5, 2013 (Credit: NOAA/GOES/CIMSS)

According to latest public advisory by US National Hurricane Center (NHC), the center of Tropical Storm Andrea was located near latitude 25.5 north and longitude 86.5 west at 00:00 UTC on June 5/6, 2013. Andrea is moving toward the north near 3 mph (6 km/h) and this slow northward motion is expected to continue.

Andrea's maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. A faster northeastward motion is expected to begin on June 6, 2013 and should continue through June 7, 2013.

Tropical storm force wind speed probabilities and surface wind field (Credit: NOAA/NHC)

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km), mainly to the east and southeast of the center. The center of Andrea is forecast to reach the coast of the Florida Big Bend later on June 6, 2013 and then move over southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina overnight. Isolated tornadoes are possible over the Florida Peninsula during the next 36 hours.

TS Andrea forecast track (Credit: NOAA/NHC)

Watches and warnings

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the West Coast of Florida from Boca Grande to Ochlocknee river. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Flagler Beach Florida to Surf City North Carolina. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area…generally within 48 hours.

Southeast radar mosaic (Credit: NOAA/NWS)

The biggest threat pose the combination of a storm surge and the tide which will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach 2 to 4 ft from Tampa Bay, northward to Apalachicola, and 1 to 2 ft from Florida West Coast south from Tampa Bay. 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. 

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.

TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data show scattered moderate to heavy rainfall extending north-westward from Cuba into the Gulf Of Mexico. TRMM PR data were used to create the 3-D image on the right. The tops of some storms East of the low's center reached heights slightly above 10km (~6.21 miles). (Credit: NASA/TRMM)

The National Weather Service expects Andrea to soak the southeastern U.S. and Mid-Atlantic states over the next couple of days as it moves northward.

Satellite Animations



Featured image: Visible image taken from the GOES-14 satellite on June 6, 2013 at 17:10 UTC (Credit: NOAA/GOES)

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