Fred’s impacts may affect weekend plans; when to expect wind, rain

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Depression Fred remains weak and disorganized in the short term as it heads northwest along the northern coast of Cuba.

The Tampa Bay area will not feel any effects from the system Thursday or Friday morning.

There may be a few more clouds and storms Friday afternoon as some tropical moisture spreads north, but it should feel like a typical August day.

Once Fred enters the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, it has the potential to strengthen, and impacts will begin for the Tampa Bay area.

Saturday night, the storm will begin to track just off the Sarasota/Manatee coast. At that point, tropical-storm-force winds are not expected across the Tampa Bay area. In fact, the wind direction will be off shore and no gulf water surge is expected either.

As Fred heads north Sunday morning, the impacts increase across Tampa Bay. Tropical rains and gusty winds are possible, but widespread tropical storm force winds are not expected.

Watch for pockets of heavy downpours at times as broken bands of rain wrap around the center of circulation. Areas south of the center may get slightly higher water levels due to a light onshore wind.

By Sunday evening, the system is heading north toward the Florida Panhandle. The impacts locally will improve, but the gulf waters may continue to be choppy.

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