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The National Hurricane Center said Fred is a disorganized system dumping heavy rain on Cuba and the Florida Keys as of Saturday morning.
Fred has maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour and is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.
Fred is expected to start strengthening Saturday as is moves into the Gulf of Mexico and continue to do so until it makes landfall Monday night into Tuesday morning. The storm will hit somewhere between Panama City, Florida and Biloxi, Mississippi.
When it makes landfall, Fred will likely be a tropical storm with sustained winds around 45 miles per hour.
After Fred makes landfall, it will quickly dissipate as it moves north toward the North Carolina mountains. As much as 3-4 inches of rain could fall in the mountains, with around 1 inch falling in and around the Triangle.
Tropical Storm Grace is churning out in the Atlantic Ocean about 355 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands.
T.S. Grace will be moving towards Florida over the next week. Too early to speculate if we will have any impacts here next weekend, but many trusted global models have it going into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week. pic.twitter.com/1EksaUj2dX
— Steve Stewart (@StewartABC11) August 14, 2021
Grace has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and moving at a brisk 22 miles per hour pace.
The quick-moving storm will begin slowing down in the coming days as it moves over the Leeward Islands on Saturday night and the Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday. It could be approaching Florida sometime Tuesday.
Grace’s path is expected to be similar to Fred through the Caribbean. It will struggle to strengthen as it interacts with the islands in its path.
The bulk of Grace’s long-range weather models show the storm pushing into the Gulf of Mexico. However, a couple stray models do push the storm north through the Bahamas and up Florida’s east coast toward the Carolinas.
The ABC11 First Alert Weather Team will continue to keep a close eye on Grace as conditions adjust the storm’s forecast.
2021 Hurricane Season
Fred and Grace are the first named storms in over a month. 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.
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.
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