Tropical Storm Andrea Loses Strength Moving Inland Over Northern Florida

It now has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph

Tropical Storm Andrea continued weakening as it moved inland over northern Florida Thursday in the hours after it made landfall along Florida's Big Bend region, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

As of 11 p.m., the storm was located about 40 miles west of Jacksonville and about 65 miles east-southeast of Valdosta, Georgia. It was moving northeast at 15 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

That was down from the maximum sustained winds of 65 mph that Andrea had when it made landfall in Dixie County, about 10 miles south of Steinhatchee, at 5:40 p.m.

Little further change in strength is expected during the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said, but Andrea should lose its tropical characteristics by Friday night as it moves through the eastern U.S.

The hurricane center ended its tropical storm warning for the west coast of the Florida peninsula. A warning was still in effect for Flagler Beach, Florida to Cape Charles Light, Virginia; Pamlico and Albemarle sounds; and Lower Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Tornadoes were possible Thursday night over coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, and on Friday from eastern South Carolina north to coastal Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.

The National Weather Service said three tornadoes touched down in South Florida on Thursday. At 3:20 a.m. a tornado damaged powerlines in Belle Glade. At 6:45 a.m. another in the Acreage injured one person and damaged homes and powerlines. The final one at 8:10 in Broward County, northwest of State Road 27, didn't cause any damage.

A team is going to survey the aftermath of the storm in the Acreage, which caused the most damage.

The weather service said the rain in South Florida is from a rain band extending out from Andrea. The region has a 60 percent chance of rain on Friday.

The storm was expected to continue heading northeast at a faster speed for the next two days. The center of the storm will move from north Florida into southeast Georgia overnight, and then proceed near the East Coast of the U.S. through Saturday, according to the hurricane center.

Andrea was expected to deliver between 3 and 6 inches of rain over much of the Florida peninsula, eastern parts of the Florida Panhandle, eastern Georgia and the eastern Carolinas, with up to 8 inches possible in some spots.

Andrea, which became the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season Wednesday, was not expected to directly impact South Florida, though scattered showers and occasional thunderstorms were possible throughout Thursday.

As the storms track northeast, the weather in South Florida will steadily improve.

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