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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Fred is expected to gain strength back to a tropical storm by Saturday. The storm will have to deal with wind shear and a less than ideal environment for a tropical system. The wind shear should keep the intensity down from gaining strength above a tropical storm. There is the off chance the storm could really fight off the shear it could make it to a category one hurricane. This is on the low chance of possibilities at this time.
The forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is for the storm to move into the Panhandle Sunday night and Monday morning as a 50 mph Tropical Storm. The biggest impacts could be isolated flooding and poor beach conditions where rip currents would be common for a few days.
Rainfall should be in the 1 to 4 inches range across the area. A few locations could see heavier amounts where rain bands set up and linger. Isolated flash flooding and some river flooding will be possible.
The rainfall totals will largely depend on the final track of the system. A stronger system farther to the west will bring more rain and a system farther to the east will bring less rain.
Wind speeds and gust again will be track-dependent. The East side of the circulation will bring the greatest winds as it stands now gust should be in the 25-35 mph, Isolated areas on the east side of the circulation could see gusts up to 55 mph. Any shifts in the size or strength of the storm could also increase the effects on the area.
For now, Fred is expected to remain a weak system as it slowly strengthens and moves to our area. The impacts are expected to be minor but we are still several days out and the tropics can and do change quickly. Make sure to keep up with the latest updates.