Tracking The Tropics: 10 PM Update. Fred has weakened to a Tropical Depression. It is better organized, but now Fred is battling dry air, some wind shear . Fred moves NW over the northern coast of Cuba on Thursday and Friday. The system is expected to track into the SE Gulf of Mexico this weekend near Key West, FL. On this track the intensity will be kept low at this time. Once Fred moves into the Gulf of Mexico it is expected turn to the north and hug the west coast of Florida. It will also strengthen due to the warmer water. the further it stays off the Florida coast the better the chances are for strengthening.
Right now, there is A LOT of uncertainty in the forecast. Fred must survive its trek to the Gulf first. If it does, then it is possible a tropical storm could make landfall Sunday night into Monday morning on the Florida Panhandle. It is too soon to stay where landfall could be located. IF Fred takes this path, we will not see too much rain from it since most of Alabama will be on the western side (drier side) of the storm. Make sure you check back for updates.
A tropical wave located a few hundred miles SW of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing some showers and thunderstorms. Some slow development of this system is possible over the next few days as it moves west across the central Atlantic. Forecast models want to take this system into the Caribbean in the next 5+ days. NHC is giving this system a medium chance to develop at this time.
Elsewhere…the rest of the tropics will be quiet for the next 5 days.