MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Tropical Depression Fred is expected to strengthen back into a tropical storm today before moving over the Florida Keys Saturday morning.
“It should get a little stronger, but it’s not expected to become a hurricane,” said News13 Chief Meteorologist Frank Johnson, “and it should make landfall on Monday on the Florida panhandle as a Tropical Storm.”
“Fred is staying far to the west, so we’re not expecting many impacts here in the Carolinas,” Johnson added. However, an unrelated cold front is expected to bring thunderstorms to the area on Sunday and lower temperatures.
As Fred pushes further inland Monday and Tuesday, expect it to weaken to a remnant low and track far enough to the west that we’ll have very little impact on the Carolinas.
The big question is exactly when the storm turns to the north and begins to track up Florida’s west coast. The system is forecast to move along or just north of eastern and central Cuba Friday, then near the Florida Keys on Saturday. It should be near the west coast of Florida on Sunday, forecasters predict.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the southwest coast of Florida from Bonita Beach south and east to Ocean Reef including Florida Bay.
The tropics are expected to heat up over the next few weeks as we near Sept. 10, the statistical peak of hurricane season. On average, more than 60% of all tropical systems form in August or September.