Tropical Depression Fred: Special tropical update for Florida and the Southeast: a.m. Thursday 12 August 2021

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This morning, Tropical Depression Fred is located about 100 miles east of Cuba, moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 35 mph.

There are currently no tropical watches or warnings issued for the United States.

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 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.

Primary impacts for southern FL and the Keys are squally winds and as much as 4-6 inches of rain that might lead to some fresh-water flooding issues. On Sunday there may be more significant winds (50-60 mph sustained) and some storm surge along the Big Bend Coast.

If I was RV’ing or planning to RV in southern FL, along the west coast of FL or FL Panhandle, I might not change my plans right now — but 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 might consider re-scheduling.

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.

Limited graphics this morning, but to internet bandwidth restrictions at my location.

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