By Harriet McLeod
CHARLESTON, S.C., June 7 Cyclone Andrea made its
way up the U.S. East Coast on Friday, dumping rains from the
Carolinas to as far north as New England and delaying hundreds
Andrea shed its tropical characteristics but still remained
a threatening storm with heavy rain and high winds, prompting
flood warnings in coastal areas across the Eastern Seaboard.
The storm's center was located 55 miles (90 km)
east-northeast of Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday evening,
the National Hurricane Center said.
The change in the classification of the storm to what
forecasters call a post-tropical cyclone did not mean it was
losing its strength, said John Cangialosi, a hurricane
specialist at the Miami-based hurricane center.
"It hasn't weakened," he said.
The storm still had winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph),
mainly offshore, and threatened to bring heavy rain and coastal
flooding to those in its path.
Alex Sosnowski, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc.,
said the storm could cause disruptive downpours around
Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
"Indications are that most locations in this swath will be
in for a 2- to 4-inch (5-10 cm) rainfall but locally heavier
amounts are possible," he wrote on the private forecaster's
With the storm sweeping up the Atlantic coast, Major League
Baseball games in Washington, Boston and New York were postponed
because of rain on Friday.
Weather-related flight delays were reported at airports in
Philadelphia, New York and Boston, according to FlightAware, a
website that tracks flights.
Andrea was moving over cooler water and merging with a
stationary front, drawing fuel from that system rather than the
warm seas it had moved over earlier, Cangialosi said.
Earlier on Friday, Andrea moved swiftly over the Carolinas,
but caused no significant damage. Scattered power outages were
reported in South Carolina, with 2,500 customers losing service.
The hurricane center warned the storm could cause tornadoes
in coastal areas from North Carolina through Virginia.
After swirling over the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm
Andrea made landfall on Thursday over the Big Bend area where
the Florida peninsula joins the mainland.
The storm buffeted Florida's western coast, spawning several
tornadoes, including one that ripped a roof off a restaurant in
the city of Gulfport, before moving across southern Georgia and
into the Carolinas.
The storm kicked off the Atlantic hurricane season, which
runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The U.S. government's top climate agency warned in an annual
forecast last month that this year's season could be "extremely
active" with 13 to 20 tropical storms, of which seven to 11
could become hurricanes.
Three to six hurricanes could become major at Category 3 or
above, with winds of more than 110 mph (177 kph), the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.