Tropical Storm Fred forms in Atlantic; Florida keeping a watchful eye on system’s path later this week

Written by on August 11, 2021

SARASOTA, Fla. — Tropical Storm Fred developed simply south of Puerto Rico late Tuesday, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart confirmed, heading for the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with forecasters warning that its heavy rains might trigger harmful flooding and mudslides.

After a quiet month of no named storms within the area, Fred turned the sixth of the Atlantic hurricane season as anticipated late Tuesday and tropical storm warnings had been already in impact for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“An important factor at this time is preparation,” mentioned Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi. “I’m not going to attenuate the potential impression of this occasion … we anticipate plenty of rain.”

Florida might be within the storm’s path, however forecasters mentioned it was too early to find out the precise observe.   

Information from the plane and floor observations point out the disturbance gained some energy Tuesday night time, with most sustained winds close to 40 mph with larger gusts. Some further strengthening is forecast in a single day earlier than Fred reaches japanese Dominican Republic on Wednesday morning.

Fred was the primary named storm since Hurricane Elsa dissipated one month in the past on July 9.

Gradual strengthening was forecast, and the disturbance was anticipated to develop into a tropical storm Tuesday night time, the middle mentioned.

The disturbance is anticipated to move close to or over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Tuesday and early Wednesday, be close to or over Hispaniola on Wednesday and be close to the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday. A tropical storm warning was in impact for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. 

Heavy rain is probably going over the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which might result in flash, city and small stream flooding and potential mudslides. The best risk for flooding can be throughout the japanese and southeastern parts of Puerto Rico.

Tropical storm circumstances are doable elsewhere alongside the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas starting late Wednesday.

The system might intensify as soon as it reaches the waters south of Florida or the japanese Gulf of Mexico by this weekend, forecasters mentioned. However that path is topic to alter relying on wind shear and whether or not the storm tracks over water or land. 

“The system is being guided alongside to the west-northwest by the circulation round a big space of excessive strain over the central Atlantic,” AccuWeather hurricane professional Dan Kottlowski mentioned.

Florida and the Keys might be within the system’s path. This situation might unfold if the high-pressure space weakens and permits the system to show extra to the north, Kottlowski mentioned.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is anticipated to be lively, the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mentioned in an up to date forecast final week: 15 to 21 named storms might develop; seven to 10 may very well be hurricanes.

A median season spawns seven hurricanes and peaks in August, September and October. If predictions maintain true, this 12 months can be a report sixth consecutive 12 months of above-normal exercise.

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Contributing: Doyle Rice and Jeanine Santucci; The Related Press

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