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PHOTO COURTESY NOAA SATELLITE VIEW — This satellite photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the Atlantic Ocean this morning, Aug. 11, around 11 a.m.

The sixth named storm of the 2021 hurricane season, Tropical Storm Fred, is working its way through the Atlantic Ocean today, Aug. 11. Current National Hurricane Center projections show tropical storm conditions could reach Central Florida as early as this weekend.

Fred was upgraded to a tropical storm last night, Aug. 10, as it approached Puerto Rico. At its current trajectory, Central Florida is expected to begin seeing the effects of the storm early Saturday morning, Aug. 14, although its exact path is still highly uncertain. 

IMAGE COURTESY NOAA
FRED — Tropical Storm Fred’s anticipated path as of Aug. 11. As of 11 a.m. this morning, Tropical Storm Fred was passing over the Dominican Republic. The storm is currently expected to make landfall in Florida early Saturday, Aug. 14. Central Florida could begin to feel the impact of the storm’s winds around that time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fred is expected to travel over the Dominican Republic and Haiti this afternoon through this evening. The tropical storm is projected to weaken as it passes over land, followed by slow strengthening into Thursday night. The storm is currently moving west-northwest at 16 mph, with sustained winds speeds of 45 mph. 

Heavy rainfall in Florida and across the Southeast could begin as early as Friday, and continue into early next week.

Fred is the sixth named storm to form in the Atlantic Ocean this hurricane season, following Tropical Storm Elsa, which made landfall in Florida as a tropical storm and made little impact on Volusia County.

IMAGE COURTESY NOAA

The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season has already broken records for earliest named storms, and the overall outlook issued by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center was recently updated, upping the number of strong storms expected.

The above-average season is projected to have 15 to 21 named storms, with 7 to 10 expected to strengthen to hurricanes. Three to five of the storms could become major hurricanes, with winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

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