Tropical Storm Fred forms in the Caribbean Tuesday night

Fred is the 6th earliest 6th Atlantic named storm to form since 1966
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 3:37 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As of 10 pm Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center officially named the latest storm of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Tropical Storm Fred formed 45 miles south of the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Earlier in the evening, wind speeds reached tropical storm criteria, however, a center of circulation had not officially formed. As of the late evening, both radar data and Hurricane Hunters confirmed that the center had become better defined, prompting the upgrade.

2″ to 4″ of rain will be possible over the Dominican Republic, with localized half-foot totals expected. 1″ to 3″ inches, with localized 5″ totals, are projected to fall over Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, eastern Bahamas, and eastern Cuba.

Here is the latest information as of the late-night update:

LocationMaximum Wind SpeedMovementMinimum Central Pressure
45 miles south-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico40 mphwest at 17 mph1009mb

The latest forecast continues to point this tropical storm to the Dominican Republic Wednesday, where the system could struggle to hold intensity as it passes over the mountainous terrain of the island. Still, the National Hurricane Center has opted to leave the forecast intensity at tropical storm strength due to “tropical-storm-force winds that could occur along the north coast of the island if the center shifts a little more to right of the forecast track.” The agency also notes that Fred could attempt to reach hurricane status, however:

Fred is expected to be moving over warmer sea-surface temperatures and into a much weaker wind shear regime, which would favor more robust strengthening. As a result, some of the regional and statistical-dynamical intensity models bring Fred near or to hurricane strength during that time. However, there is uncertainty Fred’s structure after interaction with Hispaniola and possibly Cuba, and continued disagreement between the global models on how the upper-level wind flow pattern near the cyclone will evolve, which ranges from favorable anticyclonic outflow to strong southwesterly shear.

National Hurricane Center

Fred is anticipated to drift up or just west of the Gulf Coast of Florida this weekend. While the center of the storm is currently forecast to point toward the Florida Panhandle by the end of the weekend, impacts are expected to reach the state on the east side of this tropical cyclone. Gusty wind and heavy rain may reach parts of the sunshine state as early as Friday.

No impacts or concerns are expected in the Western Gulf of Mexico, Texas Coast, or Brazos Valley.

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