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Grace Downgraded With Uncertain Forecast For Florida

map with projected track of tropical storm
National Hurricane Center
Heavy rainfall from Tropical Depression Grace could lead to flooding over the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Forecasters say heavy rainfall from Grace could impact portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida by mid to late week — but the forecast uncertainty is much higher than usual.

Grace has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression, and uncertainty over the storm's path is higher than usual.

Tropical Storm Warnings were discontinued for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and a Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for the entire coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake Saturday.

As of the 5 p.m. Sunday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Grace is about 200 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It's moving toward the west near 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Conditions could include 3-6 inches of rain in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which was hit earlier Sunday, and 4-8 inches with isolated totals of 15 inches in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Flash flooding and possible mudslides are also possible.

On the current forecast track, Grace will is expected to move over Hispaniola on Monday and near or over Cuba Tuesday and Wednesday.

Looking further out into the future, forecasters say heavy rainfall from Grace could also impact the Bahamas and Florida by mid to late week, but "forecast uncertainty is much higher than usual. Interests in those areas should monitor the progress of Grace and updates to the forecast."

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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