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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Fred is forecast to bring heavy rainfall and dangerous storm surge to the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
At 11 a.m. ET, the storm was moving north in the Gulf of Mexico at 10 mph, and was about 60 miles southwest of Apalachicola with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.
The storm gained strength in the Gulf ahead of its expected landfall in the Florida Panhandle, hurricane hunters said.
“Over the past four hours, Fred has really taken shape and looks like a strong tropical storm with rain bands wrapping nicely around the center,” said Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly, who adds that the storm “could strengthen a little more before moving onshore near Panama City later this afternoon or evening.”
The hurricane center expects Fred to make landfall in the eastern Florida Panhandle Monday afternoon or early Monday evening before it travels over western Georgia Tuesday.
The storm is forecast to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain to the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend with some areas seeing isolated amounts of 12 inches. Southern and Central Florida could see 1 to 2 inches of additional rain with maximum totals of 5 inches. Southeast Alabama, western and northern Georgia and the western Carolinas could see 4 to 7 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches.
It could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to portions of the southeast and mid-Atlantic states with isolated maximum storm totals of 6 inches.
Forecasters warn the heavy rain could lead to flash, urban, small stream and isolated river flooding. It could bring 1 to 5 feet of storm surge to parts of the Florida Panhandle.
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 and Big Bend from Navarre to the