MIAMI - The first tropical storm of what is predicted to be a
busy 2013 Atlantic hurricane season formed over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday,
US government forecasters said.
Tropical Storm Andrea was swirling over
the east-central Gulf, about 310 miles (500 km) southwest of Tampa, Florida, and
packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 km), the Miami-based
National Hurricane center said.
It posed no threat to US oil and gas
operations in the Gulf. Andrea was forecast to make landfall over northwest
Florida late Thursday before moving over southeastern Georgia and eastern South
Carolina, the hurricane center said.