Fred strengthens into tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, and warnings are posted

·2 min read

Fred found new strength on Sunday, reforming as a tropical storm in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.

According to the hurricane center’s 11 a.m. Sunday advisory, Tropical Storm Fred is 195 miles southwest of Tampa and 335 miles south-southeast of Pensacola, with maximum sustained wind of 40 mph. It’s moving 12 mph to the north-northwest.

A storm surge warning has been issued for the coast of the Florida Panhandle from Indian Pass to the Steinhatchee River. A tropical storm warning was issued for the coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla-Jefferson County line.

Tropical Storm Fred, 11 a.m. Sunday
Tropical Storm Fred, 11 a.m. Sunday

Fred had fallen apart Saturday morning as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico just as South Floridians began casting a nervous eye toward Tropical Storm Grace.

The National Hurricane Center on Saturday downgraded Fred from a tropical depression to a disorganized wave with sustained winds of 35 miles per hour. Forecasters also discontinued a tropical storm warning for the Keys.

Fred had earlier been expected to emerge from its jaunt skirting the north coast of Cuba toward the Florida Keys. But over the past day, the storm’s track crept westward, a trend that continued early Saturday, sparing Miami-Dade and Broward Counties the threat of tropical-force storm winds. Rainfall could still come as the system moves up the coast — but perhaps not the flooding deluge expected earlier.

The storm’s location — well west of Key West — also lessened the chance of heavy flooding.

Watches and warnings

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

Coast of the Florida Panhandle from from Indian Pass to Steinhatchee River

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

Coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla/Jefferson County line.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

Coast of the Florida Panhandle from the Alabama/Florida border to Navarre

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