FIRST ALERT: Soon-to-be-Fred develops in the Atlantic
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The area of potential tropical development in the Atlantic Ocean is gaining strength and will likely become Fred very soon. Because it will be interacting with the islands of the Caribbean soon, the National Hurricane Center has started issuing forecast tracks and regular updates.
At 5:00 PM, the system was centered near latitude 14.2 North, longitude 59.2 West. The system is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph and this general motion is expected to continue during the next few days. On the forecast track, the system is expected to move through a portion of the southern Leeward Islands tonight, pass near or over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Tuesday and Tuesday night, and near or over Hispaniola on Wednesday.
Forecast models show the system moving west to west-northwest over the course of the next few days. If the system interacts with the islands of the Caribbean, it could weaken considerably or even dissipate. If it manages to travel north or south of the islands, then it may maintain strength or even gain a little strength.
Wind shear will also be an issue with the developing system. While conditions are somewhat favorable for development now, wind shear could develop along the path of the developing system and could cause weakening or inhibit strengthening as it moves west-northwestward.
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