US storm surge warning: Tropical Storm Fred to bring ‘floods and heavy rain’ to Florida

Met Office: UK forecast thunderstorms and mild temperatures

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Tropical Storm Fred is expected to arrive on the US south coast by about 8pm (UK time) on Monday August 16. The heavy wind and rain is likely to cause a sudden storm surge, which could trigger dangerous flooding, warned the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Fred is one of three storms being tracked by the US-based NHC, and is also the strongest.

It was marginally downgraded over the past few hours, but is still expected to bring possible tornadoes and localised flooding.

The storm headed north through the Gulf of Mexico from Sunday morning (August 15), parallel to the west coast of Florida.

But, it’s forecast to hit the US from Tuesday morning, with the city of Tallahassee most likely to be affected.

The NHC warned Florida residents to expect a “dangerous storm surge” around the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend.

A storm surge describes a sudden rise in seawater level, usually caused by strong winds.

Fred is expected to cause usually dry parts of Florida to become flooded, as water pushes further into the Panhandles.

Near the Indian Pass, water could reach five feet higher than usual.

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“A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline,” it said.

“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

“An increased risk of landslides exists across the mountains of North Carolina as well as portions of the Blue Ridge Escarpment on Tuesday.

“A few tornadoes are possible today and tonight across parts of the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama.”

The storm surge warning extends from the coast at Homosassa Springs, all the way to Panama City, which is close to the border with Alabama.

There are flash flooding warnings in place across the entire state, as well as all the way up the east coast to New York City.

The area between Tallahassee and New Orleans has the highest risk of floods, added the NHC.

There could be up to 10 inches of rainfall over the next three days on the north-west edge of Florida, it forecast.

At the same time, Tropical Depression Grace is expected to hit Haiti on Monday evening.

Haiti was struck by a catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake last weekend, leaving more than 1,200 people dead.

A tropical storm watch is in place for the entire coast of Haiti.

The storm is expected to pass either directly over Haiti, or just south of its coastline.

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