Tropical Storm Grace forms; Fred still loves the tropical depression
Tropical Storm formed over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday morning when Fred, which maintains its status as a tropical depression, headed east of the Gulf of Mexico.
Both systems are expected to bring heavy rains and cause floods. Fred, a former tropical storm, could regain this category later in the day or Sunday, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Grace was about 420 miles (675 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands and could reach the Lesser Antilles by Saturday night. It was moving west at 35 km/h (22 mph) with maximum winds of 65 km/h (40 mph), according to the center.
A tropical storm watch was issued for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and a British Virgin Islands warning was issued. According to meteorologists, Grace could arrive in the Dominican Republic on Monday.
3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of rain is expected in the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through Monday.
For his part, Fred was still a tropical lowland with maximum winds of around 55 km/h (35 mph). Forecasters said the system appeared to be “disorderly” and predicted it would pass west of the Florida Keys on Saturday afternoon before moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
There was an active tropical storm watch for the Florida Keys west of the Seven Mile Bridge to Dry Tortugas. As of early Saturday morning, Fred’s vortex was 90 miles south of Key West, moving west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
Unique weakness as it passes through Haiti and the Dominican Republic, leaving about 400,000 people without electricity due to damage to the electrical system and half a million without water. Local authorities reported that hundreds of people were evacuated and some buildings were damaged.
Fred is expected to receive 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 12.5 cm) of rain in the Keys and southern Florida through Monday.
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