Fred remained as a weakened tropical depression Friday, hugging the Cuban coast and moving somewhat more slowly through the Florida straits. Although Key Biscayne and Miami are not within the official “cone of uncertainty,” heavy rain and gusty conditions are predicted for the weekend, and forecasters urged caution.
In short, the weather is going to be pretty dreadful this weekend for much of the state.
A flood watch was posted for the Miami area, including Key Biscayne, through Sunday night, and tornadoes associated with Fred are possible, the National Weather Service predicted. Average rainfall amounts of 4 to 7 inches are forecast.
Key Biscayne Fire Chief Eric Lang will appear live on Blink Radio Key Biscayne, 94.5 FM at 5 p.m. today (Friday) to go over the latest information about the storm.
Winds Friday night were forecast to be around 18 miles per hour, with 25 mile-per-hour gusts, and worsening into the weekend. By Saturday night, the forecast called for winds of 23 miles-per-hour, with some gusts as high as 31 miles-per-hour.
The National Hurricane Center said tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the Florida Keys, where warnings are posted. Later, Fred is expected to make landfall Monday in the Florida Panhandle.
While Fred is still predicted to regain tropical storm status within the next day or two, forecaster Jack Beven said the surrounding atmospheric environment is only mildly conducive toward future strengthening.
“Between that and land interaction, the intensity forecast calls for only modest strengthening during this time,” he said.
At 11 a.m., Eastern Time, the center of poorly-organized Fred was 270 miles southeast of Key West, heading west-northwest at 12 miles-per-hour. Sustained winds were put at 35 miles-per-hour.
If Local News Matters To You — Please Consider A Donation Today.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.