9:14 AM PDT, August 11, 2021
Weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Fred as it moves through the Caribbean Sea and closer towards the southern United States.
Experts are uncertain of Fred’s path and intensity but are predicting that the heavy rains will eventually make their way toward Florida and Cuba and could cause dangerous flooding and mudslides.
Fred is the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and as of Wednesday morning around 5 a.m., the storm reached about 115 miles from the shores of east-southeast Dominican Republic and had winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Fred also passed over Puerto Rico early Wednesday and is expected to pass parts of Haiti near Hispaniola later on before it moves towards the southern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The storm will then likely reach the northern coast of central Cuba by Friday. CBS News weather producer David Parkinson says the storm’s path will likely be over the Florida Keys, though other parts may also be affected.
Forecasters are not expecting Fred to evolve into a hurricane but CNN meteorology Michael Guy says they are keeping a close eye as it might reach the Gulf of Mexico, where it could intensify into Category 1.
The storm could then loop back to Florida and the “Big Bend” in Texas before flash floods reach upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina.
Previously named Atlantic storm, Tropical Storm Elsa ripped through the East Coast in July. Elsa managed to reach New York City causing major flooding to its subway systems.