MIAMI, June 6 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Andrea moved inland over northern Florida Thursday with wind and rain spreading north well ahead of the center, forecasters said.
The Florida peninsula and coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina faced the threat of tornadoes, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 8 p.m. advisory.
The first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, was about 45 miles west of Gainesville, Fla., heading northeast at 15 mph.
Tropical storm warnings were posted for Florida's West Coast from Boca Grande to the Ochlockonee River, and for the state's East Coast from Flagler Beach to the Cape Charles lighthouse in Virginia, including the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, and the lower Chesapeake Bay south of Point New Comfort.
Andrea was forecast to continue north for the next 24-48 hours with an increase in forward speed. It was then expected to move northeastward near the U.S. East Coast through Saturday.
Tropical storm force winds extended as much as 140 miles from the center.
The hurricane center said the combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded.
Andrea is expected bring heavy rain to areas included in the tropical storm warning.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is monitoring conditions and urged people living in the storm's path to prepare for severe weather and follow the instructions of state, tribal and local officials.
CNN reported Andrea pummeled Cuba with heavy downpours Wednesday.