Warnings Issued As Fred Forecast To Regain Strength On Approach To Tampa Bay Area
The Florida Keys are under a tropical storm warning, and a tropical storm watch was issued from Englewood to Bonita Beach with Fred expected to pass near the greater Tampa Bay region on Sunday.
Portions of Florida’s west coast are under a tropical storm watch as Tropical Depression Fred approaches the Florida Keys.
The watch area extends from Englewood to Bonita Beach, and a tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Florida Keys and Florida Bay as Fred remains a depression but is expected to regain tropical storm status as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico on a path toward the greater Tampa Bay region.
"As Fred moves over warm waters, energy should help to boost thunderstorm activity, which could help it re-strengthen into a tropical storm," said Megan Borowski, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. "However, upper level winds are still looking unfavorable for substantial intensification. Regardless, this system is expected to produce heavy rain, tropical storm force gusts, and potentially a few tornadoes or waterspouts over the next few days."
The National Hurricane Center forecast track takes Fred through the Florida Keys and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Saturday, with a turn to the north expected Sunday — where it will parallel the greater Tampa Bay region on Sunday afternoon.
There was a slight nudge to the west with the forecast track after Sunday, placing more of the Florida Panhandle in line for potential impacts from a landfalling tropical storm Monday.
As of Friday at 2 p.m., Fred was located about 245 miles east-southeast of Key West and moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 35 mph with higher gusts.
Stronger upper-level winds were limiting Fred’s ability to organize sufficiently back into a tropical storm late Thursday. And while confidence is increasing in the overall track forecast from Fred through the next 24 hours, variances still exist in the potential track and resulting intensity it may be as it begins to affect Florida.
Fred is forecast to continue on a west-northwest path, and turn toward the northwest later Friday or Saturday.
Fred could produce rainfall totals of 3-7 inches across the Keys, southern and central Florida toward the Big Bend area, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches possible.
Sandbags are being made available at the following locations:
Friday from 1-5 p.m.:
- Edward Medard Conservation Park - 6140 Turkey Creek Road, Plant City
- E.G. Simmons Conservation Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin
- Ed Radice Sports Complex, 14720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa, 33626
Friday from 1-5 p.m.:
- Al Barnes Park South, 2902 N. 32nd St., Tampa
- Himes Avenue Complex, 4501 S. Himes Ave., Tampa
- MacFarlane Park, 1700 North MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33607
Available from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Spring Hill
Anderson Snow Park, 1360 Anderson Snow Rd., Spring Hill
Ridge Manor Community Center, 34240 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor
Public works facility, 300 N. Fifth St., on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p..m.
Available until Friday at 5 p.m.:
- Helen Howarth Park: 6301 94th Ave N
- Pinebrook Park: 7202 118th Ave N
- Broderick Park: 6101 66th Ave N
Sports Complex, 10369 US Highway 301, from Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and Saturday morning if necessary.)
Available starting Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Highlander Pool parking lot, 903 Michigan Blvd.
Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.