Tropical Storm Grace strengthens, could cause flooding in Haiti following earthquake

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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Friday that tropical depression seven has formed in the Atlantic. The system became Tropical Storm Grace on Saturday as it moved through the Caribbean.

The system, which is moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour, is about 100 miles south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour as of 8 a.m. Sunday. Grace is moving west-northwestward over the northeastern Caribbean sea.

Grace is expected to bring 4 to 7 inches of rainfall to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which experienced a powerful earthquake on Saturday where hundreds of lives were lost. Flash flooding and mudslides possible Monday and Tuesday.

The NHC said tropical storm conditions from the system are expected in portions of the Leeward Islands on late Saturday or early Sunday. Then, tropical storm conditions are possible over portions of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and part of the Dominican Republic.

Tropical Storm Grace path

Parts of Florida are currently in the forecast track for the system.

The system is initially like to follow in the footsteps of Fred, according to WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell, but as the system gets toward the end of its track, it could turn more north.

Forecast tracks for Fred and tropical depression 7

“Down the road, we will be watching this one very closely,” said Campbell.