SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Some good news on this Friday the 13th with the future path and track of Fred tonight. The latest forecast cone has shifted once again to the west as a result of Fred being a weaker storm today while it was over Cuba. The high pressure system which has been driving the storm west continues to push the storm more toward the east central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.
We expect the storm to make it back over water on Saturday in the Florida straits and then move toward Key West in the lower keys and become a tropical storm once again. Look for partly cloudy skies on Saturday in the morning with a good chance for showers and strong storms in the afternoon.
Winds will be out of the east to northeast at 10-15 mph with gusts up to 20 to 25 late in the day on Saturday. We will see some higher gusts with some of the storms moving through later in the day and throughout Sunday.
Sunday we expect mostly cloudy skies with periods of showers and thunderstorms as feeder bands continue to pinwheel into the center of Fred. We are expecting to see rainfall totals of 3-5 inches over a large area and up to 8 inches in some isolated areas. Once again there will be some training of storms over the same area like we saw with Elsa back in July. There will be the possibility of getting some urban flooding and some minor river flooding with this system over the weekend.
As is always the case with tropical systems there will be a slight risk of a few quick hitting tornadoes beginning late Saturday through Sunday afternoon.
There will be no real threat of any storm surge for the Suncoast maybe a 1 foot rise. We will however see the surf pick up with waves running some 5-10 feet and a good deal of rip currents developing.
Currently there are no tropical storms watches or warnings for the Suncoast with the exception being the coastal waters of Charlotte County. I am not expecting to see any tropical storms watches or warnings for our area at this time. If the center were to reform to the north and the cone shift back eastward then there is a possibility that we would see some issued for our area on Saturday.
Our chances of seeing sustained tropical storm force winds have dropped to 20% or less for the entire area.
We are also watching tropical depression number 7 which is soon to become tropical storm Grace over the weekend. This system will track basically west along the same path that Fred just did. Tropical storm watch is up for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The long range forecast is showing it stay on a westerly course for the next several days and then there is a lot of uncertainty once again. It will be one to watch all next week.
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