Tropical Storm Fred Continues Inland

Tornado watch in effect for most of the viewing area
Tropical Storm Fred 8 p.m. 8/16/21
Tropical Storm Fred 8 p.m. 8/16/21(WCTV)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:36 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of 5:00 p.m. Tropical Storm Fred was 25 miles NW of Apalachicola Florida with sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm is moving to the NNE at 9 mph.

After making landfall at 3:15 p.m. Fred has continued to move north. Since landfall was over Cape San Blas, some of the strongest winds associated with Fred moved past Franklin County this afternoon. Just after 4:00 p.m., a 73 mph wind gust was reported in Eastpoint. Winds on the coast have started to decrease a little. Sustained winds of 25 mph were recorded around 5:30 p.m. in Apalachicola. However, gusts around 40 mph were still moving by Apalachicola at 5:30 p.m. High winds are now moving farther inland as the center moves north into northern Gulf and southern Calhoun counties.

High amounts of rainfall fell throughout the area . Radar estimated 7 inches of rainfall in western Franklin County, 6 inches in southwestern Wakulla County, just over 4 inches in southern Leon County.

More rainfall is expected across the Big Bend and South Georgia as Fred continues to move to the north. The Flash Flood Watch across the Big Bend and South Georgia will continue until Tuesday afternoon.

Flash Flood Watch
Flash Flood Watch(WCTV Pinpoint Weather)

Isolated tornadoes are also possible across the area through the evening as rotating thunderstorms and waterspouts from the Gulf of Mexico could move inland. A Tornado Watch is in effect for the Big Bend and South Georgia through 8 p.m.

Tornado Watch
Tornado Watch(WCTV Pinpoint Weather)

The official track from the National Hurricane Center expects the storm to continue north into southern Alabama and southern Georgia as a weak tropical storm. Then Fred will likely continue northward into northern Georgia as a tropical depression.

The WCTV Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to track the potential for heavy rainfall and severe weather with Tropical Storm Fred.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of 3:15 p.m. EST, Tropical Storm Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas. Radar data from Tallahassee and Eglin Air Force Base confirmed that winds were estimated at 65 mph at landfall. The center will continue to move inland this afternoon bringing rain bands into the Big Bend and South Georgia.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor Fred both on air and online throughout the afternoon and evening.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Though Fred was still a sheared tropical storm early Monday morning, it was much better organized than 48 hours prior and will bring at least tropical-storm-force gusts, the threat of flash flooding and isolated tornadoes during the day.

Fred’s center of circulation was located 35 miles southwest of Apalachicola, according to the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds increased to 65 mph as it was moving north-northwest (20-degree bearing) at 9 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure increased slightly 994 millibars, but increased to 996 millibars during a Hurricane Hunter flight through the center of Fred before 1 p.m. Monday.

You can watch Meteorologist Charles Roop’s update on Tropical Storm Fred, which aired live on the WCTV Facebook page, below or at this link.

A tornado watch was issued Monday morning for most of the viewing area until 8 p.m. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes, and to be alert for any warnings that might be issued by NWS.

Tropical storm warnings were still in effect for the coastline from Navarre east to the Wakulla/Jefferson County line as well as Franklin, Wakulla, Liberty, Leon, Gadsden, Decatur, Seminole, and Miller counties. Tropical storm warnings were also added for Jefferson, Grady and Taylor counties as of the 11 a.m. advisory. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warned areas.

A storm surge warning remained in effect from Indian Pass east to Yankeetown. The threat of 3 to 5 feet of maximum surge exists along the Big Bend coastline as Fred moves northward Monday.

A flash flood watch was also in effect for the western half of the viewing area through Tuesday afternoon. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches in the western Big Bend and 3 to 5 inches of rain in Southwest Georgia are possible with locally higher amounts not being ruled out. These amounts may lead to areas of flash flooding. Rainfall amounts of 2-3 inches are possible in Franklin County with the initial rain bands Monday morning, according to the Weather Prediction Center.

There is also a threat of tornadoes with some of the rain bands moving northward during the day. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the western and central Big Bend as well as Southwest Georgia under a level-2 risk for severe weather for Monday with a level-1 risk elsewhere in the viewing area. The threat for tornadoes could hit the Southwest Big Bend area as soon as later Monday morning. Be sure to have a way to receive warnings in the event a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts of at least tropical-storm-force gust have been recorded in the coastal areas of the western Big Bend Monday based on observations from the WeatherSTEM network of stations. A gust as high as 54 mph was recorded at the St. George Island WeatherSTEM station at 1 p.m. Monday.

Landfall is forecast to take place Monday evening or night as a tropical storm, but the first rain bands were already moving through Franklin County based on radar imagery as of 5:45 a.m. Heavy rain, gusty winds and the threat of an isolated tornado are some of the hazards that can be expected with these passing bands throughout the morning and the rest of the day.

The tropical storm appeared much more organized compared to Sunday morning and, especially, Saturday morning. The better radar and satellite appearance along with a falling central pressure verified its increase in strength. But since the initial Hurricane Hunter passed through Fred’s center, finding a lower central pressure, the pressure remained steady with additional passes as of 11 a.m.

“A little more strengthening is possible prior to landfall, but significant southwesterly shear is likely to limit strengthening,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. technical discussion. “Also, the storm has little time remaining over water.”

Those in the tropical-storm-warned areas should be prepared for the potential of power outages.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Fred throughout the day. Check back on this page throughout Monday for updates.

This story was updated to add information from the 2 p.m. intermediate advisory from the National Hurricane Center as well as wind reports from around the area.

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