Tropical Storm Nicole invited heavy rain along with strong winds to Tampa Bay.

As Nicole, a low-strength tropical storm, moved away from Florida, strong winds and heavy rains lashed the area.

It became the first hurricane to make landfall in the US later this year in nearly 40 years.

Florida has been hit hard by hurricanes this month.

About an hour after the hurricane made landfall on North Hutchinson Island Thursday morning, it was downgraded to a tropical storm.

According to the NHC advisory, Nicole was moving about 45 miles north of Tampa and 160 miles southeast of Tallahassee, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

It had tropical-storm-force winds moving northwest at 15 mph, 345 miles out from its center.

The NHC said "strong winds, dangerous storm surges and waves and heavy rains are likely to continue over large areas".