Forecasters warn tropical storm Fred ‘likely’ to form imminently

Potential for cyclone to become tropical storm over the next 48 hours at 90%

Louise Hall
Tuesday 10 August 2021 16:31
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Forecasters advise that a potential tropical cyclone could be imminently named as storm Fred as warnings are put in place across Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said on Tuesday that potential tropical cyclone six is “likely” to become a tropical storm today.

“The most important thing today is preparation,” said Puerto Rico Gov Pedro Pierluisi. “I am not going to minimise the potential impact of this event ... we expect a lot of rain.”

The agency said that a tropical storm warning has been put in place for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic on the south coast and north coast.

Heavy rainfall could also lead to flash, urban, and small stream flooding and potential mudslides across the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours,” it explains.

If the potential storm intensified it would be the sixth named storm of the season and be given the name Fred. Tropical storm Elsa was the last Atlantic storm to hit the US over month ago.

The NHC said the maximum sustained winds of the system remain near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts, but they said that “gradual strengthening is forecast during the next day or so”.

The agency also said that a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is currently enroute to investigate the disturbance.

“Satellite imagery shows that thunderstorm activity associated with this system continues to increase and a tropical depression or storm could form on Tuesday”" AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

The NHC says that the chance the potential cyclone becomes a tropical storm over the next 48 hours and five days is 90 per cent.

Last night, heavy rains hit parts of the eastern Caribbean including the islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica.

The news of the storm comes only days after forecasters warned Americans they could face another “oppressive” heatwave across the US as wildfires continue to rage across the country.

“It’s going to be a real oppressive week with dangerous heat and hot conditions. Excessive heat watches are up across much of the Pacific Northwest,” the National Weather Service said late last week.

It added: “Meanwhile, heat advisories are in effect for a good part of the south-central US and parts of western New York state.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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