Tracking Fred: Florida Keys in Tropical Storm Warning

The Florida Keys have been put under a Tropical Storm Warning as Tropical Depression Fred soaks Cuba and shows signs of strengthening.

Heavy rain is expected in further parts of Florida, forecasters say.

At 8 a.m. Friday, a disorganized Fred was 315 miles east-southeast of Key West, moving west-northwest at 10 mph.

Its maximum sustained winds were clocked at 35 mph, but the National Hurricane Center says it’s possible those winds increase and the system becomes a tropical storm again Friday (which requires winds of 39 mph or higher).

While Broward and most of Miami-Dade are not under a tropical storm watch, a rainy Friday night and Saturday are still in the forecast, and those counties are under a flood watch until Sunday.

“The center of the system will stay west of Miami-Dade and Broward, but the impacts will be felt well out of this projected path,” Local 10 meteorologist Julie Durda said. “We are expecting some heavy rain and gusty winds for Broward and Miami-Dade, and the biggest concern will be flooding.”

The Florida Keys remain in the cone of concern, with Fred forecast to reach them Saturday afternoon or evening.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING for Florida Keys west of Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas and Florida Bay. Tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

— Julie Durda (@JulieDurdaWPLG) August 13, 2021

Tropical Storm Watch for FAR South Miami-Dade, Mainland Monroe, and Coastal Collier.

— Julie Durda (@JulieDurdaWPLG) August 13, 2021

“On the forecast track, Fred is expected to move along or just north of eastern and central Cuba through tonight, be near the Florida Keys on Saturday, and near the west coast of Florida on Sunday,” the Hurricane Center said.

“From today into Monday, 3 to 7 inches of rain is anticipated across the Keys, southern and central Florida north towards the Big Bend, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. Heavy rainfall could lead to areal, urban, and small stream flooding, and potentially worsen ongoing minor to isolated moderate river flooding over northern Florida.”

Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

The Florida Keys west of Ocean Reef to the Dry TortugasFlorida Bay

Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

The Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, and GranmaThe southwest coast of Florida from Englewood south and east to Ocean Reef

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.

Additional watches and warnings may come later Friday.

Fred officially became the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season late Tuesday night as it strengthened and became better organized while moving south of Puerto Rico. It made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday before weakening into a tropical depression.

It had been more than a month since this year’s fifth named storm — Hurricane Elsa — formed.

Scientists are calling for a busier than normal hurricane season, though not to the level of the record-breaking 2020.

For the latest South Florida radar and forecast information, visit the Local 10 News Weather Authority page.

To make sure you’re prepared, download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide.

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