Hi, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Sunday, August 15, 2021. It is hot and humid, which is typical for a summer day in the Sunshine State. Currently, the temperature is 82˚F (28˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 67% and the wind blowing from the east-southeast at 11 MPH (17˚C), the feels-like temperature is 88˚F (31˚C). The forecast advises us to watch for scattered rain showers, and the high will be 89˚F (32˚C). Tonight, we can expect scattered rain showers, and the low will be 76˚F (24˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 44 or Good.
Well, it seems that rumors regarding the death of Fred – the storm – were greatly exaggerated. Yesterday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami had downgraded the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season to “Remnants of Fred” status. Today I awoke to see that – due to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico – Fred regained strength and was upgraded to tropical storm status.
Here’s the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center:
WTNT31 KNHC 151451
Tropical Storm Fred Advisory Number 24
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL062021
1100 AM EDT Sun Aug 15 2021
…FRED AGAIN A TROPICAL STORM OVER THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO…
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 195 MI…320 KM SW OF TAMPA FLORIDA
ABOUT 335 MI…540 KM SSE OF PENSACOLA FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1008 MB…29.77 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
A Storm Surge Warning has been issued for the coast of the
Florida Panhandle from Indian Pass to Steinhatchee River.
A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the coast of the
Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla/Jefferson County line.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Coast of the Florida Panhandle from from Indian Pass to
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla/
Jefferson County line.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Coast of the Florida Panhandle from the Alabama/Florida border to
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline,
during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a
depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at
hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons
located within these areas should take all necessary actions to
protect life and property from rising water and the potential for
other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other
instructions from local officials.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the
next 24 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36
Interests elsewhere along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico
from Alabama to the eastern Florida Panhandle should monitor the
progress of the remnants of Fred.
For storm information specific to your area, including possible
inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
local National Weather Service forecast office.
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Fred was
located near latitude 26.1 North, longitude 84.9 West. Fred is
moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this
motion should continue through tonight. A turn toward the north is
expected on Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Fred
should move across the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico through
Monday, then make landfall in the western Florida Panhandle Monday
afternoon or Monday night.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with
higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected until landfall,
while Fred is expected to weaken quickly after landfall.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km)
from the center.
The minimum central pressure reported by the Hurricane Hunter
aircraft is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
Key messages for the Remnants of Fred can be found in the Tropical
Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT1, WMO header WTNT41
KNHC and on the web at www.hurricanes.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?key_messages.
RAINFALL: Fred is expected to produce the following rainfall
Florida Keys and southern Florida… 3 to 5 inches of rain is
The Florida Big Bend and Panhandle… 4 to 8 inches with isolated
maximum storm totals of 12 inches are expected.
South-Central and Southeast Alabama through Georgia and the Western
Carolinas… 3 to 6 inches with isolated maximum storm totals of 9
inches are expected due to the combination of Fred and a preceding
Heavy rainfall across portions of Florida, southern Alabama,
portions of Georgia, and the western Carolinas could lead to areal,
urban, small stream and river flooding impacts.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could
reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated
areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
Indian Pass to Steinhatchee River…2-4 ft
AL/FL border to Indian Pass including Pensacola Bay, Choctawhatchee
Bay and Saint Andrew Bay… 1-3 ft
Steinhatchee River to Chassahowitzka, FL…1-3 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the
relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary
greatly over short distances. For information specific to your
area, please see products issued by your local National Weather
Service forecast office.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm
warning area beginning on Monday.
SURF: Swells generated by Fred are expected to reach the coast of
Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle on Monday. Please
consult products from your local weather office for more details.
TORNADOES: A tornado or two will be possible today into early
Monday, near the west coast of Florida and the coastal Florida
Next intermediate advisory at 200 PM EDT.
Next complete advisory at 500 PM EDT.
Fortunately, Fred’s predicted path takes the storm well offshore and far, far away from the New Hometown area. The most we are likely to get from Fred here will be some squalls from the storm’s outer bands. The Florida Panhandle looks like it will bear the brunt of Fred’s wrath, and I feel sorry for the residents who will be affected by its passage. Nevertheless, I am glad we got lucky – this time.
Considering that today’s mix of news is depressing and infuriating – the Taliban moved into Kabul and Afghanistan’s President left for a neighboring country; coronavirus cases and deaths are rising in the U.S. again, and anti-vax, anti-mask idiots continue to show that they don’t care about others – I think I will go ahead and lose myself in a book, movie, or a game. I am usually not one to shy away from reality – hell, I studied journalism so I could learn how to cover news events – but there’s only so much I can take, especially when social media reveals just how insensitive and self-centered many humans can be to others.
So, Dear Reader, this concludes this weekend update. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the less soggy side of things.