FLORIDA, United States, Monday August 31, 2015 – Just about 24 hours after emerging as a tropical depression, Fred developed into a Category 1 hurricane that is moving through the easternmost Cape Verde Islands.
But computer models project that the second hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be nothing more than a tropical depression in another five days or so and does not appear as though it will come near the Caribbean.
According to the National Hurricane Centre’s (NHC) 8 a.m. advisory, Fred was 65 miles southeast of Ribeira Brava in the Cape Verde Islands, moving toward the northwest near 12 miles per hour, and was carrying maximum sustained winds near 80 miles per hour.
Fred’s hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles. Strong winds from Fred as well as heavy rainfall have started affecting the islands.
“On the forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to pass near or over the northwestern Cape Verde Islands later today. Little change in strength is expected through early tonight while Fred moves through the Cape Verde Islands. Gradually weakening is forecast to begin on Tuesday,” the NHC said.
The Cape Verde Islands is under a hurricane warning, possibly the first ever in its history. Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters noted that despite the fact that the Atlantic’s most feared type of hurricanes are named after the Cape Verde islands, the islands themselves rarely receive significant impacts from one of their namesake storms.
Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches are likely with up to 10 inches possible in some areas, which could trigger flash flooding and mudslides. A storm surge, which will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves, is expected to cause coastal flooding in areas of onshore winds.
After passing through the Cape Verde Islands, Fred is projected to turn west northwestward over the open Atlantic Ocean and southwesterly winds aloft, stable air and cooler water temperatures should begin to weaken Fred later in the week.
Fred developed as a tropical depression in the wee hours of yesterday and before dawn had already strengthened into a storm. It reached hurricane strength overnight.