PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Chief Meteorologist Ross Whitley gives an update on the path and impacts expected from Tropical Storm Fred.
The storm should start to bring moisture into our area by early tomorrow morning. The rain will pick up past 9 am ct. The worst weather will likely be from noon to 6 pm ct with improving conditions past 10 pm ct. Isolated tornadoes will be possible from mid-morning into the overnight. Have multiple ways to receive warnings.
A moderate to a strong tropical storm is expected so prepare like a Cat 1 hurricane is coming. A hurricane is possible but is the top intensity this storm could reach. 55 to 60 mph wind gusts are possible in the strongest storms that mix downwind to the surface. The highest winds will likely be recorded along the coast as this storm will weaken as it moves inland. The wind will be enough to cause power outages for some and we could see some trees fall. Widespread wind damage is not expected from this storm.
It appears that the weather will start to deteriorate Monday morning and the weather should start to improve going into Tuesday morning. 3-6” of rain expected 10”+ is possible. Most will see winds in the 30-45 mph with gusts higher in thunderstorms. Weather Monday and Monday night will definitely be nasty. Strongly encourage you to make plans to not travel, especially midday through the evening. Flooding could be an issue for low-lying areas prone to flooding. Storm surge will be 1-3′ from Okaloosa County to Gulf County and 2-4′ from Franklin County to Wakulla County. Wave heights could reach 9-14′ tomorrow. Swell will stick around through Tuesday and improve surf conditions will happen on Wednesday.
Rainfall is the most widespread threat many seeing 3-5 inches of rain across the area. With saturated soil and river levels running high already flooding and flash flooding will be possible. A flash flood watch is in place for every county in the panhandle of FL.
Wind will be enough to cause an impact but not a major event. The highest wind speed will be along the immediate coast. Gust along the coast could reach 55 mph with a few higher gusts possible. For most in the area, the max wind should be 35-45 mph. This will be enough for scattered power outages and some damage but not expecting widespread damage from wind.