Fred expected to strengthen back into Tropical Storm as it nears Florida Keys

View The Original Article Here
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Fred weakened to a tropical depression Thursday morning as it moved over Hispaniola.

The National Hurricane Center showed Fred had sustained winds of 35 miles per hour.

As of 5 p.m. the storm struggled to stay together as it was very poorly organized.

It is still expected to strengthen in the next 24-36 hours back into a Tropical Storm as it nears the Florida Keys late Friday into Saturday.

A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, and for the southwest coast of the Florida Peninsula from Bonita Beach south and east to Ocean Reef, including Florida Bay.

It will parallel the west coast of Florida and move into the panhandle as a weak Tropical Storm with winds 45-50mph.

Rain and gusty winds are possible in Florida Keys, western Florida, and the panhandle Friday night through Monday morning. Some flash and urban flooding is possible.

From there, Fred is expected to move inland into Georgia and Alabama.

There’s a second area of interest the National Hurricane Center is monitoring in the Atlantic Ocean. At this time, the tropical wave is located about 1,500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

It has about a 60 percent chance to become a named tropical system in the next week. The current projected path is similar to Fred’s, but obviously that forecast is subject to change.

2021 Hurricane Season

Fred is first named storm in five weeks. Our last named storm was Elsa, which became a hurricane July 2. Elsa made landfall in Florida on July 5 and headed north through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina before heading north along the East Coast.
Elsa was the earliest fifth-named storm ever, breaking the record set the year before in what became the most active hurricane season ever. However, since Elsa, there has been little to no tropical development.

Still the busiest part of the hurricane season remains ahead of us. Last week, the NOAA said the hurricane season “shows no signs of slowing,” and even updated its prediction from 13-20 named storms to 15-21.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.