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NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

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Tropical Storm Andrea weakens as it moves inland

(RNN) – The first storm of the 2013 hurricane season is moving inland after making landfall along the Big Bend of Florida.

Tropical Storm Andrea had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph when it made landfall in Dixie County, FL, around 5:40 EST.

Andrea’s winds have dropped to just over 45 mph, a weak tropical storm, as of the 11 p.m. EST advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was located about 40 miles west of Jacksonville, FL.

According to the National Weather Service, Andrea is moving north-northeast at 15 mph and is expected to accelerate and turn northeast.

Andrea should continue to lose her strength, however, heavy rainfall is expected for of the Florida Peninsula into the east coast. Isolated tornadoes are also expected across central and southern Florida, and flooding is expected in portions of the west coast of Florida.

Schools in parts of South Georgia closed Thursday. Many in South and North Carolina are scheduled to be closed Friday as the storm moves north through the Atlantic seaboard.

Parts of eastern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina were expected to receive three to six inches of rain with isolated areas seeing up to eight inches of rain.

CNN reports a tornado touched down Thursday morning in Clearwater, FL, causing minor damage. Clearwater is expecting more tornadic activity and possible water spouts in the next line of storms.

NASA’s TRMM satellite passed over Andrea after it was named and measured 5 inches of rainfall per hour in the southern part of the storm.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season produced a total of 19 tropical cyclones.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Tropical Storm Alberto kicked the season off in the mid-Atlantic and moved east toward the Carolinas.

Hurricane Isaac is blamed for 34 hurricane related deaths last season – 24 in Haiti, five in the Dominican Republic and five in the United States.

Late in the season last season, Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey and New York coastlines – costing nearly $50 billion in damage. There were 147 direct deaths due to Sandy. Seventy-two of those deaths occurred in northeastern U.S. and the Atlantic basin.

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