Flooding, storms expected Tuesday from Fred

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Fred is surging forward with widespread showers and potential flash flooding for parts of the Carolinas.

Brad Panovich, Brittany Van Voorhees (WCNC), KJ Jacobs, Chris Mulcahy, Larry Sprinkle

11:05 PM EDT August 12, 2021

6:04 PM EDT August 16, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fred is unleashing significant rainfall across the southeast. Fred made landfall as a tropical storm along the Florida Panhandle Monday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. 

Flash Flood Potential 

In the Carolinas, Fred is expected to drive in a plume of tropical moisture towards western North Carolina. Expect rounds of showers from a combination of Fred and a nearby stationary front. Some areas near Charlotte, including portions of Lincoln and Catawba counties, are already experiencing flooding.

Tuesday looks to be the worst day for heavy rain to cause flooding. Storm cells will be capable of producing heavy rain over a short period and any training cells could cause flooding to occur at any time. Expect batches of heavy rain during the morning, afternoon, and nighttime hours. 

Since the ground is already saturated from the weekend storms, additional rainfall will likely lead to flooding. Watch for those typical trouble spots and low-lying areas and be prepared to make detours.

By the end of the week, upwards of 10 inches of rain are possible for the mountains and the foothills. 2 – 4 inches are possible for portions of the Piedmont and Metro Charlotte. Most of the South Carolina Piedmont and the Sandhills will see closer to 1-3 inches, but possibly higher if storms repeatedly dump heavy rain over the same locations.

The further east the storm travels, the more rain North Carolina and South Carolina will experience. The further west the storms travels, the less rain the Carolinas will experience. Over the next 72 hours, areas along the south and east-facing slopes of the mountains and adjacent foothills could see rainfall amounts of 5-10″. Flash Flooding is very likely along with mudslides and landslides on vulnerable slopes.  

In preparedness for the potential flood event, a Flood Watch is in effect until 8 a.m. Wednesday for western North Carolina including the mountains and foothills. Areas in the mountains may sustain significant flooding during this period. Flood alerts may extend for other parts of the area as the system gets closer to the Carolinas. 

The National Hurricane Center, the branch of the National Weather Service which forecasts tropical weather, is responsible for issuing the official forecast cone for Fred. The forecast cone is eligible for updates four times a day: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m.

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Elsewhere in the tropics, Grace remains at tropical depression status on a track towards the west-northwest. Grace forecast to become a tropical storm Tuesday and eventually reach hurricane status by the end of the week before a potential landfall in Mexico. 


Henri is the newest named storm in the tropics as it sits just southeast of Bermuda. Henri has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts of 50 mph. Tropical Storm Henri is forecast to churn out in the Atlantic over the next 5 days surrounding Bermuda and twist back to the NE by next weekend. No direct threat to land at this time. 

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