After weakening to a tropical wave, Fred has strenghtened back to tropical storm status and is moving north toward the Florida Panhandle at 9 miles per hour and should make landfall in the western Panhandle this afternoon or early evening.
Heavy rainfall and storm surge are expected along the coast of the Panhandle and Big Bend later today.
Fred is 160 miles south of Panama City with 50 mph maximum sustained winds, but is expected to pick up strength before making landfall as a tropical storm.
ABOUT 160 MI...255 KM S OF PANAMA CITY FLORIDA
ABOUT 140 MI...220 KM SSW OF APALACHICOLA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 355 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1002 MB...29.59 INCHES
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Coast of Florida from Indian Pass to Yankeetown
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla/
Jefferson County line
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Fred was
located near latitude 27.9 North, longitude 86.0 West. Fred is
moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this general motion
with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through today.
On the forecast track, the center of Fred should move across the
northeastern Gulf of Mexico today, and make landfall in the western
Florida Panhandle this afternoon or early evening.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher
gusts. Some strengthening is forecast before landfall. After
landfall, Fred is expected to quickly weaken.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km)
from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches).