(CMR) Tropical Storm Fred formed south of Puerto Rico late Tuesday and is expected to move across the Caribbean over the next few days. However, it is not a threat to the Cayman Islands at this time.
Forecasters said the storm is strengthening as it lashed Puerto Rico with gusty winds and heavy rain. Parts of the island, as well as the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, could see up to 4 inches of rain, with isolated maximums of 6 inches, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was about 50 miles southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving west at 16 mph.
Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect across the Caribbean, including in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and parts of the Dominican Republic. The NHC warned that there's the potential for flash flooding and mudslides across the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
The system is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by the time it nears the Dominican Republic and Haiti. However, forecasters expect it to strengthen into a tropical storm again once it nears Cuba and Florida later this week.
Fred is the sixth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season.