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Tropical Storm Warnings in effect for the FL Keys
Tropical Storm Watches in effect for the southwest FL coast from Tampa Bay southward
This morning, Tropical Depression Fred is located about 370 miles east-southeast of Key West FL, moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 35 mph.
The attached “Key Messages” graphic issued by the National Hurricane Center is particularly well-written and relevant.
The storm will likely move along or just north of Cuba’s northern coast today, before turning more to the north and into the Gulf of Mexico near southern and southwest FL. Depending on exactly when Fred makes the turn to the north, the system could move up the FL Peninsula or stay out over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Right now the forecast is calling for Fred to cross the FL Keys on Saturday, stay offshore FL and make landfall late Sunday night along the Big Bend Coast.
Southern FL may start to feel the impacts of Fred late Friday. The gusty winds and rain would spread northward along the FL Peninsula this weekend and reach the eastern Panhandle and Big Bend region on Sunday.
Fred is a disorganized, but wet storm; as such, heavy rains and fresh-water flooding are likely to be Fred’s primary impacts.
Primary impacts for southern FL and the Keys are heavy rains (4-6 inches) and associated fresh-water flooding, and squally winds. These heavy rains will spread northward along the western FL Peninsula over the weekend. Late Sunday there may be more significant winds (45-55 mph sustained) and some minor storm surge along the Big Bend Coast.
By early next week, Fred’s heavy rains will likely spread northward into the Southeast, Southern and Central Appalachians, and the Piedmont region.
If I was RV’ing or planning to RV in southern FL, along the west coast of FL or eastern FL Panhandle, I would be prepared for rain, gusty winds, and the possibility my trip would change on short-notice. I would certainly have a “Plan ‘B'” ready to go. If I was looking for typical nice summer weather, I would re-schedule. As always, please follow the advice and directions of your local Emergency Managers.
Please pay attention to the tropical forecasts, either from the National Hurricane Center, local TV weather forecasters, or reputable, established weather websites.
I will update this special advisory on Friday 13 August or sooner, if there is significant change.