Tracking the Tropics: Disturbance likely to become Tropical Storm Fred Tuesday, Florida in cone

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A disturbance in the Caribbean has yet to be classified as a tropical storm, but will likely become one later Tuesday or Tuesday evening as it moves near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory.

At 11 a.m. ET, Potential Tropical Cyclone 6 was about 160 miles west of Guadeloupe and 220 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. The system has been given a 90% chance of developing into a tropical storm over the next two days. Forecasters say it’s likely to become a tropical storm on Tuesday.

The system is expected to strengthen slightly as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday. It’s forecast to weaken slightly once it nears Hispaniola on Wednesday. It’s expected to be near the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday, forecasters said.

Florida is in the cone of uncertainty, but it’s unclear how the state will be impacted. The National Weather Service said Monday that South Florida could see “widespread and heavy rain” late this week and over the weekend.

The system was expected to dump 2 to 4 inches on the Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands with some areas seeing isolated amounts of 6 inches. The rain in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands could lead to flash, urban, and small stream flooding and potential mudslides.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico, including Culebra and Vieques
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Dominican Republic on the south coast from Punta Palenque
    eastward and on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo eastward

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Saba and St. Eustatius
  • Dominican Republic on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo to
    the Dominican Republic/Haiti border
  • Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to
    Gonaives
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Southeastern Bahamas

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