Fred has really struggled, but it finally has a defined low-level center again. That has helped the models to finally get a consensus on where this storm is headed, and it looks like it’s going to be the Panhandle late Monday.
Fred is expected to do some slow strengthening as it moves north across the Gulf. The pressure has been falling steadily, which is a sign of strengthening. Because of wind shear, it is not expected to be able to rapidly strengthen and will likely make landfall as a moderate tropical storm with winds of about 60 mph.
We can expect the first bands of rain from this system to reach the eastern Panhandle late tonight and into Monday morning. The rain will pick up through the day on Monday in the Panhandle.
Keep in mind, the heaviest rain and gusty winds will be east of the center. Areas even just slightly west of the center will see far less rain and impacts. With the higher confidence in the models now, that would mean nearly all the weather from this system will impact the Panhandle, with far less impact on the Alabama and Mississippi sides of our area.
We’re also now tracking Tropical Storm Grace. This storm is way out, but it’s following a similar path as Fred. It should reach the Gulf late next week. Stay tuned !
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