Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Storm Fred is in the northeast Gulf of Mexico just south of Panama City, FL. It is battling some strong wind shear from a trough of low pressure over the eastern U.S. Fred is moving along the western edge of the high pressure that is sitting over the Atlantic, and this is why it is moving to the north. Fred is forecast to get a little stronger before it makes landfall in the next few hours near Panama City, FL. Sustained winds could be around 65-70+ mph at landfall.
Once it moves inland tonight, Fred will weaken quickly down to a tropical depression and then remnant low on Tuesday as it moves north along the AL/GA border. On this track, heavy rain and gusty winds will move across southeastern Alabama tonight and far eastern Alabama on Tuesday. The heaviest rain will be located east of the center over Georgia thanks to the wind shear from the trough. The rain will come to an end on Tuesday evening as Fred tracks northeast to near Knoxville, TN.
Tropical Depression Grace is sitting just south of Hispaniola and remains disorganized. Grace is moving toward the west, and it is now expected to make a shift to the south according to the forecast models. It will move along the southern edge of a mid-level ridge of high pressure that is over the western Atlantic. This track would put Grace moving south of Cuba now verses over the island. There is still plenty of uncertainty in the forecast due to Grace being impacted by the mountainous terrain on Hispaniola.
The depression is now expected to remain over warm water, and there is not a lot of wind shear. This could cause Grace to get stronger before it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula. Then it is forecast to track into the western Gulf of Mexico later this week, and some strengthening is possible at that time. Grace is not expected to be a threat to the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Depression 8 formed last night well off the U.S. East Coast, or east of Bermuda. It is battling wind shear, but it is forecast to become a tropical storm later today. TD 8 will turn clockwise around Bermuda in the next few days as a strong tropical storm. Some of the models are showing it could become a hurricane in the next 72 hours. It will stay off the U.S. East Coast and track back out to sea by this weekend. This is not a threat to the U.S.
Elsewhere…the rest of the tropics are quiet.
That’s all for now! Be sure to follow the CBS 42 Storm Team on: