MIAMI -- The first named storm of the year formed yesterday off the southeastern US coast, more than three weeks before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, forecasters said.
Subtropical Storm Andrea had top sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour yesterday afternoon and didn't appear to be much of a threat, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Still, a tropical storm watch was issued for parts of Georgia and Florida, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours.
"We're not looking at this system strengthening significantly," said Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist at the center.
The storm's wind, however, has been blowing smoke from wildfires across Georgia and Florida.
Wind-driven waves have been causing coastal erosion in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and the ocean has lapped at beachfront homes and condos.
Typically, about one subtropical storm forms each year, but they often turn into tropical storms. That doesn't appear to be the case with Andrea, senior hurricane specialist Jack Beven said.