TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three active systems are brewing in the tropics and being monitored by the National Hurricane Center: Tropical Storm Fred, Tropical Depression Grace and Tropical Depression 8, which is expected to reach tropical storm strength soon.
Tropical Storm Fred
Tropical Storm Fred is moving closer to a Monday afternoon or evening landfall along the Florida Panhandle. The system is expected to bring dangerous storm surge and heavy rain to the Panhandle and Big Bend.
At 11 a.m. ET, Fred was about 55 miles southwest of Apalachicola with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. The NHC says some strengthening is possible before the storm makes landfall.
According to the latest NHC advisory, Tropical Storm Fred is expected to make landfall in the eastern Florida Panhandle either Monday afternoon or early Monday evening before moving over western Georgia on Tuesday. Once Fred makes landfall, it is expected to weaken quickly.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Coast of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend from Navarre to the Steinhatchee River. A storm surge warning is in effect from Indian Pass to Yankeetown.
Tropical Depression Grace
Grace was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on Sunday and is now headed toward Hispaniola.
According to the 11 a.m. update from the NHC, Grace is about 85 miles southeast of Port Au Prince in Haiti with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Haiti is already dealing with the devastating aftermath of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Saturday, leaving more than 1,200 people dead and thousands more injured.
The system is forecast to pass near the southern coast of Hispaniola by Monday night before passing between Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands Tuesday and Wednesday.
The NHC warns that heavy rainfall across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands could lead to flash, urban and small stream flooding. The potential for mudslides is highest in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There is also an “increasing risk of wind and rainfall impacts over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico” on Wednesday night and Thursday, the latest NHC update says.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands and the southern coast of the Cuban provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Las Tunas and Camaguey. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Jamaica, the coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and the southern coast of the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Matanzas and Isla de la Juventud.
Tropical Depression 8
Tropical Depression 8 is “almost a tropical storm,” according to the latest NHC advisory, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
The depression is about 135 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving south at 9 mph. The NHC says the system will make a turn toward the southwest and then the west in the coming days and is expected to move “well to the south of Bermuda.”
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bermuda.
If Tropical Depression 8 becomes a tropical storm, it will get the next name on this year’s list, which is Henri.
Other than the three active systems currently in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center is not monitoring anything else.
However, a tick up in tropical activity is expected this time of year as we move closer to Sept. 10, which is the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. On average, more than 60 percent of all tropical systems form in August or September.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month an above-average hurricane season is still expected thanks to atmospheric and oceanic conditions staying conducive as we head into those active months.