Tropical Storm Fred is spinning about near the Dominican Republic coast this morning; based on the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it could pose a threat to Florida this weekend.
Today’s 5 am advisory from the NHC puts Tropical Storm Fred about 115 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. With maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, the storm is moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph. Minimum central pressure is 1009 mb or 29.80″.
The Tropical Storm Warnings that were up for Puerto Rico, including Culebra and Vieques, and for the U.S. Virgin Islands have been discontinued now that Fred has moved west of those locations.
However, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic on the south coast from Punta Palenque eastward and on the north coast from the Dominican Republic/Haiti border eastward. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area over the next 12 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Haiti, from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Gonaives, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and for the southeastern Bahamas.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.
The storm is expected to continue on a general west-northwestward motion for the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to be near or over Hispaniola later today, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, and move north of the northern coast of central Cuba on Friday.
The NHC says some weakening is likely while the system interacts with Hispaniola later today.
How much Fred weakens over Hispaniola, and perhaps even Cuba, will influence how strong the storm will be as it approaches the United States mainland and how quickly it’ll get there. The latest NHC forecasts suggests Fred will weaken to a Tropical Depression later today, but re-intensify to a Tropical Storm by Thursday afternoon. Beyond that, the NHC forecasts calls for Fred to move through the Florida Keys, brush the Florida west coast, and make landfall near the panhandle by late Sunday or early Monday.