FIRST ALERT: Fred crossing Hispaniola, Grace may develop by this weekend
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tropical Storm Fred continues to move through the Caribbean, while Grace may develop by the upcoming weekend.
At 5:00 PM, the center of Tropical Storm Fred was located near latitude 18.9 North, longitude 71.0 West. Fred is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph, and a general west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected to continue for the next two days or so.
On the forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to be over Hispaniola for the next several hours, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, and move near or north of the northern coast of central Cuba Thursday night and Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Fred is expected to weaken to a depression tonight as it crosses Hispaniola. Slow re-intensification is expected beginning Thursday night. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles mainly to the northeast of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.
A tropical wave located over the eastern tropical Atlantic several hundred miles west-southwest of the African coast continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are expected to become gradually more conducive for development of this system, and a tropical depression could form by early next week while moving generally westward across the tropical Atlantic near 20 mph. This system could reach portions of the Leeward Islands by late Saturday. The chance of development over the next 5 days has increased to 50%.
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