Fred reforms into tropical storm and targets Florida, Grace continues to churn in Caribbean

Two tropical storms simultaneously threatened landfall Sunday as Fred strengthened on its way to the Gulf Coast and Grace continues to loom over the Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Fred after it regenerated back into a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to hit Southern Florida, the Bid Bend and the Panhandle. Tropical storm warnings were issued at 11 a.m. Sunday for the northern Gulf Coast.

A Sunday morning advisory said this new iteration of Fred has seen maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and is moving northwest slowly at 12 miles per hour.

Parts of the panhandle are also under a storm surge warning for the next 36 hours, as rising water is forecast to move inland from the coastline.

Fred will continue North for the next 48 hours, and should make landfall Monday afternoon or evening in Western Florida.

The Florida Keys and southern Florida should brace for three to five inches of rain, and Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle should expected somewhere between four and eight inches with isolated spots possibly seeing more a foot of rain.

Parts of Alabama, Georgia, and the western Carolinas are due for three to six inches of rain.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the state’s Panhandle region. And Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Saturday saying her administration was monitoring the weather and “will be ready to act from the state level if needed,” NBC Miami reported.

City workers fill sandbags at a drive-thru sandbag distribution event for residents ahead of the arrival of rains associated with tropical depression Fred on Aug. 13, 2021, at Grapeland Park in Miami.Wilfredo Lee / AP

Fred previously crossed Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, where it was shredded before reforming.

Meanwhile, the NHC on Sunday warned that heavy rainfall from Grace could bring flash flooding in the coming days to parts of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

After an earthquake on Saturday killed over 700 people, Haiti must now also brace for the likely impact of Grace, which could bring heavy rains and strong winds later this week. Tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive at the quake-ravaged nation on Monday.

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