Tropical Storm Fay is drenching portions of Florida as it slowly drifts north near the Atlantic coast.

Forecasters say the storm may drop as much as 50 centimeters of rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. state of Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami predicts Fay will continue its path and then gradually turn inland northwest again Wednesday or Thursday.

Forecasters say Fay's winds are near 85 kilometers per hour, with higher gusts.  The storm is not expected to significantly strengthen through Thursday morning.

Weather experts dropped a hurricane watch for parts of Florida and the neighboring state of Georgia, but tropical storm warnings remain in effect for portions of both states.

The weather center warns that Fay may spawn isolated tornadoes.

Fay crossed the Florida Keys Monday after slamming into Cuba, dumping as much as 20 centimeters of rain.

The storm caused death and destruction across the Caribbean.  Haitian officials say at least 50 people drowned Monday when the driver of a bus tried to cross the swollen Glace River.

Deaths also were reported in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.