Tropics update: Getting busy as Fred makes landfall Monday


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 6th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season made landfall in the Panhandle of Florida on Monday.

As of 1 p.m. Monday (CT), Fred was a 65 mph tropical storm, moving north around 10 mph, and heading toward Panama City and Panama City Beach, Florida. By 2:15 p.m. the storm made landfall in Florida.

The main impacts from Fred will be the heavy rain/flooding, storm surge along the coastline, and tornado risk along the eastern half of Fred’s track.

Position and information on Fred as of 1 PM Monday

Expected rainfall is still on the order of 4-6 inches from Panama City to Atlanta, with higher totals of 8-10 inches in the Appalachian Mountains, where mudslides and landsides may be possible.

Expected rainfall directly from Fred

Storm surge will likely be on the order of 3-5 feet at the highest along the Florida coast, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Experimental Fred storm surge forecast from NHC

And Fred’s not the only storm to pay attention to in the Atlantic! Storms are firing up quick with Grace and now Tropical Depression Eight forming over the last few days.

Grace (a tropical depression at the moment) has already had run-ins with land as the storm passed through part of the Lesser Antilles, and just south of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti (that country was already suffering from and dealing with the aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Saturday). That has temporarily weakened the storm.

More westward movement, and slight strengthening back to tropical storm status, is expected from Grace over the coming days.

Projected track of Grace. Current thinking keeps it away from U.S. mainland

As for Tropical Depression Eight, this new area formed up and was re-named yesterday, well off the Eastern Seaboard. This is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm late today or tomorrow and really just meander around the island of Bermuda. The next name on the list is Henri (pronounced “ahn-REE”).

Projected path of TD Eight. Also expected to stay away from the U.S.

So, a lot of action in the Atlantic right now, and it’ll likely stay busy as we’re really getting into the peak the hurricane season.

Historically, the number of named storms peaks in September before slowly fading throughout October. So there’s several more weeks to go before we get a quieter Atlantic Ocean.

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