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A Tropical Storm Is On Track To Sweep The U.S. Gulf Coast This Weekend

Tropical Depression Fred, currently off the coast of Cuba, is forecast to make landfall as a tropical storm in the vicinity of the Florida Keys by Saturday.
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Depression Fred, currently off the coast of Cuba, is forecast to make landfall as a tropical storm in the vicinity of the Florida Keys by Saturday.

Tropical Depression Fred, currently off the coast of Cuba, is forecast to slowly regain tropical storm status before bringing strong winds and potentially heavy rainfall to Florida this weekend.

Fred is expected to move through the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, pass over central Cuba on Friday and make landfall as a tropical storm in the vicinity of the Florida Keys by Saturday. Another landfall is likely in Florida's Big Bend region, south of Tallahassee, or the Panhandle over the weekend or early next week, forecasters say.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Fred will bring tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour to the Keys by Friday evening. Wind gusts as high as 60 mph are possible.

"Keep in mind that Fred's forecast is highly subject to change given all of the wind shear, dry air and land interaction obstacles," the Weather Channel says.

At 8 a.m. ET Thursday, the center of Fred was located about 190 miles northwest of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and the storm was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph.

"There's still uncertainty over Fred's precise track and intensity," the Miami Herald reports. "What forecasters do know is that Florida should brace for heavy rain and possible flooding, including along the east coast."

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