Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Fred forms in the Caribbean

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UPDATE 11 PM:

Tropical Storm Fred has now formed in the Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is moving west at 17 miles per hour with max sustained winds at 40 miles per hour.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the night while the Dominican Republic may be seeing similar conditions in the morning.

The NHC says there is a chance of wind and rainfall impacts in Florida, starting in the Keys Friday before moving through parts of the peninsula and Panhandle. However, exact timing is not known yet.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico, including Culebra and Vieques
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Dominican Republic on the south coast from Punta Palenque
    eastward and on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo eastward

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Dominican Republic on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo to
  • the Dominican Republic/Haiti border
  • Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to
    Gonaives
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Southeastern Bahamas

ORIGINAL REPORT:

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A disturbance in the Caribbean has yet to be classified as a tropical storm, but will likely become one overnight Tuesday as it moves near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. advisory.

The hurricane said the system’s rainbands were moving over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

At 5 p.m., it was about 10 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. The system is moving west-northwest at 17 mph.

The system is expected to strengthen slightly as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday. It’s forecast to weaken slightly once it nears Hispaniola on Wednesday. It’s expected to be near the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday, forecasters said.

Florida is in the cone of uncertainty, but it’s unclear how the state will be impacted. The National Weather Service said Monday that South Florida could see “widespread and heavy rain” late this week and over the weekend.

The system was expected to dump 2 to 4 inches on the Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands with some areas seeing isolated amounts of 6 inches. The rain in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands could lead to flash, urban, and small stream flooding and potential mudslides.

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