Fred intensifying, moving further east

HOLT, Fla., Aug. 16, 2021—The forecast track for Tropical Storm Fred moved further east away from Okaloosa County with the 10 a.m. National Hurricane Center update.

For now, landfall looks to be in the eastern Panhandle to the east of Panama City or the Big Bend area later today or tonight.

Hurricane Hunters found the system has intensified. Central pressure has dropped to 993 mb with maximum sustained winds at 60 mph as Fred moves north.

Continued strengthening before landfall is possible while Fred is over very warm Gulf waters, according to the NHC. Forecasted wind speed at landfall is 65 mph.

After landfall, Fred is expected to quickly weaken.

All of Okaloosa County and most of Walton County are no longer in the cone as of the 10 a.m. NHC update which shifted the cone farther east.

However, tropical storm warnings are still in effect and have been extended from Navarre to the Steinhatchee River in the Big Bend area.

Impacts from Fred

Multiple impacts from TS Fred are likely, according to the National Weather Service in Mobile, with heavy rain being the primary threat.

Latest forecast peak is 2 to 4 inches with higher amounts.

A few tornadoes could be possible with any rain bands that move through the area, according to the NWS.

Northeast wind speeds are forecast to be below tropical storm force strength at around 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts around 35 to 40 mph possible.

A flood warning is in effect for minor flooding of the Shoal River beginning late Tuesday night until 1 a.m. Friday.

The Shoal River is expected to rise above its 8-foot flood stage late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning and crest around 9.4 feet, according to the NWC.

Watches and warnings

  • Tropical storm warning until further notice
  • Flash flood watch through tomorrow afternoon
  • Wind advisory from 1 p.m. today to 7 a.m. tomorrow

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