Tropical Storm Fred Path, Update as Florida Landfall Sees State Brace for Impact

Tropical Storm Fred is expected to dump up to eight inches of rainwater on Florida, with heavy downpours in Georgia, when it makes landfall later today, forecasters warn.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm will surge through the Florida Panhandle, eastern Alabama and Georgia as early as Monday night and continue into Tuesday.

Data from the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found Fred had gained strength on Monday morning and had reached sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (mph). It also indicated the storm was moving north at a rate of 10 mph.

But the largest threat posed by the storm is likely to be the amount of rainfall it will unleash on the southern U.S. as it breaks inland.

The Associated Press reported rainfall could be between four to eight inches in the Florida Panhandle when it makes landfall.

730 AM CDT: Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Tropical Storm #Fred is intensifying, and now has maximum sustained winds near 60 mph.

Latest Info:

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 16, 2021

In a message uploaded to the NHC website on Monday morning, a spokesperson said: "Through Tuesday, heavy rainfall may lead to flash, urban, small stream and isolated river flooding impacts across the Southeast. By the middle of the week as Fred lifts northward and inland, heavy rainfall and flooding will impact the southern and central Appalachians, the Piedmont of the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic.

"Dangerous storm surge inundation is possible along portions of the coast of the Florida Panhandle and the Florida Big Bend legion and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for this area. Interests in these areas should follow any advice given by local officials."

Numerous school districts located in the Flordia Panhandle announced they would be closed on Monday in preparation for the storm.

Students in Bay County, Okaloosa County, Walton County and Santa Rosa County were told via the districts' Facebook pages that classes were canceled, but were in several cases were waiting to see whether they would open again on Tuesday.

Fred has previously been downgraded but was registered once again as a tropical storm on Sunday morning as it surged north across the Gulf of Mexico.

It is one of three storms currently being monitored by the NHC, the others being Tropical Depression Grace just south of the island of Hispanola and Tropical Depression Eight currently sitting in the Atlantic.

Tropical Depression Grace tracked toward the Caribbean island as Haitian residents continue to reel from the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck on Saturday and left hundreds dead.

Newsweek has contacted the NHC for comment.

Hurricane Irma in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
File photo: Trees bend in the tropical storm wind along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard as Hurricane Irma hits the southern part of Florida. Tropical Storm Fred is set to hit the Florida Panhandle on Monday night. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images