COLUMBIA (WACH/AP) -- Hurricane season began five days ago on June 1. Wednesday, Andrea became the first named storm of the season.
Tropical Storm Andrea
is currently in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, and has gotten a little stronger as it heads toward Florida's western coast and a new tropical storm warning has been issued for a swath of the U.S. East Coast.
Andrea's maximum sustained winds early Thursday increased to near 60 mph and the storm is expected to reach Florida's Big Bend area later in the day before moving across southeastern Georgia.
Andrea will affect us here in the Midlands as we head into late Thursday and Friday.
Forecasters say heavy rain could spread across much of South Carolina over the next several days as moisture from Tropical Storm Andrea combines with a lingering cold front.
The National Weather Service says up to 4 inches of rain could fall across much of the state through Saturday. The heaviest rains are expected near the coast, where the center of Andrea is expected to move.
The heavy rains come after an especially wet spring, and forecasters say flooding is a distinct possibility. They are asking people to keep an eye on the weather over the next few days.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for Andrea along the entire South Carolina coast.
The storm is not expected to reach hurricane status.
Keep track of Andrea, and all tropical activity on our