Tropical systems threaten to bring heavy rain, flooding

Forecasters expect the remnants of Fred to return to tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as parts of the Caribbean are gearing up for impacts from Tropical Storm Grace

Via AP news wire
Sunday 15 August 2021 07:38
Tropical Weather
Tropical Weather

Forecasters expected the remnants of Fred to return to tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as parts of the Caribbean were gearing up for impacts from Tropical Storm Grace.

Fred was forecast to move across the Gulf before reaching the coast around Monday night, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said people from Mississippi to the central Florida Panhandle should monitor the system's progress.

Anticipating Fred, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the state's Panhandle region. And Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Saturday saying her administration was monitoring the weather and “will be ready to act from the state level if needed.”

Fred's remnants were located late Saturday about 530 miles (855 kilometers) south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama, and moving west-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph). Fred was downgraded to a tropical wave earlier in the day. Tropical waves can contain winds and heavy rain, but do not circulate around a center point or an “eye” like a tropical storm or hurricane.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Grace was 200 miles (320 kilometers) east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico early Sunday. Forecasters said heavy rainfall from the system would fall over parts of the Lesser and Greater Antilles over the next few days.

Grace had maximum sustained winds around 40 mph (65 kph). The storm was moving west-northwest at 22 mph (35 kph).

Both Grace and Fred, regardless of their storm status, posed a heavy rain and flood threat, forecasters said.

Rainfall totals around 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimeters) were forecast from Grace for the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, through Tuesday.

Fred was forecast to bring 3 to 7 inches (7.5 to 18 centimeters) to the Big Bend of Florida and the Panhandle from Sunday night into Tuesday.

A tropical storm earlier in the week, Fred had weakened to a depression by its spin over Haiti and the Dominican Republic where it knocked out power to some 400,000 customers and caused flooding that forced officials to shut part of the country’s aqueduct system, interrupting water service for hundreds of thousands of people. Local officials reported hundreds of people were evacuated and some buildings were damaged.

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Rodriguez reported from Havana.

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