Tropical Storm Colin made landfall Monday in Florida, bringing heavy rains and prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.
The storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to pass through Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas before moving out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Colin, with sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour, is expected to bring large amounts of rain, riptides, and the possibility of hail and tornadoes.
Weather forecasters say the storm could slowly strengthen over the next two days.
Many schools closed early Monday and the Tampa International Airport reported dozens of delayed or canceled flights. In addition, the storm threatened crops in Florida, the country's biggest citrus producer.
Colin is the third tropical storm of the season, the earliest that a third named storm has formed in the Atlantic region, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the Atlantic to get between 10 and 16 storms this season, which began in June and lasts through the end of November.