September 27, 2021

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Tropical Storm Grace on track to reach Gulf of Mexico; Fred heads toward Florida, Alabama – NOLA.com

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Tropical Storm Grace is moving northwest over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on a forecast track that will bring it into the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. 

It was too early to tell if the storm will affect Louisiana.

At 7 a.m., Grace was moving northwest at around 16 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm is expected to continue in this direction at a slower speed over the next few days. 

Some strengthening is expected before Grace reaches Hispaniola on Monday. Weakening is expected as the storm moves over Hispaniola Monday through Monday night. Little change in strength is expected Tuesday. 

Hurricane season is upon us, and the Louisiana SPCA is urging pet owners to make evacuation plans that include their animals.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for: 

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra
  • Dominican Republic from the southern Haitian border to Samana

A tropical storm watch is in effect for: 

  • North coast of the Dominican Republic from the Haitian border to Samana
  • Entire coast of Haiti

Grace was one of two tropical disturbances that the Hurricane Center was tracking in the Atlantic basin. The other, tropical depression Fred, was expected to restrengthen to a tropical storm before making landfall near the Florida-Alabama border late Monday or early Tuesday. 

Fred 7 am August 15, 2021

As of the 7 a.m. update, Fred is located about 165 miles northwest of the Dry Tortugas and 390 miles southeast of Pensacola, Florida. 

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Fred is moving northwest at about 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. 

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • Alabama/Florida border to Ochlockonee Florida

Tropical weather systems are named when they strengthen into tropical storms. The categories, in order of increasing strength, are tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane (categories 1 through 5). 

Tropical storms Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny and Elsa formed earlier this season. Elsa was the first hurricane of the season. Claudette developed in the Gulf of Mexico and dumped several inches of rain on Slidell, flooding homes and streets.

In 2020, there were so many storms that forecasters ran out of names and had to use the Greek alphabet. It was only the second time in recorded history that the Greek names had been used.

Things have changed for this season. If needed, forecasters will use a list of supplemental storm names instead of the Greek names. See the full list.

Tips for hurricane season

Forecasters say now is the time to review hurricane plans and ensure your property is ready for storms. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service:

  • Put together an emergency kit
  • Check emergency equipment such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters
  • Before an emergency happens, make a plan with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in touch and where you will go if there’s an emergency
  • Plan your evacuation route and have an alternate route.
  • Review your insurance policies
  • Keep your trees around your home trimmed to prevent damage from broken branches
  • Have materials in advance to board windows to protect them from flying debris.

See more tips.

Don’t miss a storm update this hurricane season. Sign up for breaking newsletters. Follow our Hurricane Center Facebook page.

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