Tropical Depression Fred continues to move Northwest. There are now Tropical Strom Warnings in efect for the Florida Keys, west of Ocean Reef to Dry Tortugus. The tropical storm watch means that tropical storm condition are possible within the watch area and conditions are favorable for development within the next 24-48 hours.
Right now, the center of Tropical Depression Fred was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph and this general motion with a slight increase in forward speed is motion is expected through Friday. A turn toward the northwest is expected Friday night or Saturday.
On the forecast track, Fred is expected to move along or just north of eastern and central Cuba tonight and Friday, and be near the Florida Keys and southern Florida on Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Slow strengthening through Saturday, and Fred could become a tropical storm again later tonight or early Friday. Fred is expected to be a tropical storm as it nears the Florida Keys and south Florida.
RAINFALL: Tropical Depression Fred is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts:
Across the western Bahamas 3 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches.
From Friday into Monday, 3 to 6 inches of rain is anticipated across the Keys, the southern and central Florida Peninsula, and north towards the Big Bend of Florida, with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches.
By early next week, heavy rain and flood impacts could extend into other portions of the Southeast and into the southern and central Appalachians and Piedmont.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in Cuba tonight through Friday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in Florida beginning Friday night. Wind gusts to tropical storm force may occur over portions of the southeastern Bahamas tonight.
SURF: Swells generated by Fred are expected to spread across portions of the Bahamas and northern coast of Cuba during the next couple of days. These swells could reach the Florida Keys and southern Florida by early Saturday. Please consult products from your local weather office for more details.
Elsewhere in the tropics: A tropical wave (Invest 95L) is located 1500 hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It is producing some disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Some slow development of this system is possible over the next few days as it moves west across the central Atlantic. A tropical depression could form by early next week according to the forecast models. It will reach the Leeward Island this weekend. Forecast models take this system across the Caribbean in the next 5+ days. NHC is giving this system a medium chance to develop at this time. If and when this storm gets a name, it will become Grace.