Hurricane Fred brought strong winds and heavy rain to many places in the Cape Verde Islands on Monday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Fred was located at latitude 17.2°N and longitude 24.6°W which put it about 20 miles (30 km) east of Santo Antao in the Cape Verde Islands. Fred was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb. A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the Cape Verde Islands. It is unusual for a tropical cyclone of with sustained winds to hurricane force to move through the Cape Verde Islands.
Hurricane Fred has probably already gotten as strong as it is going to get. It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is around 27°C. However, an upper level trough located northwest of Fred is generating southwesterly winds that are blowing across the top of the hurricane. The resulting vertical wind shear is beginning to affect the circulation in Fred and the eyewall is not as intact as it was earlier today. As Fred moves farther north, the SSTs will decrease and the vertical wind shear will increase. Those negative environmental factors should caused a steady weakening of Fred.
Hurricane Fred is moving toward a weaker portion of the subtropical ridge. The ridge is expected to strengthen this week. In addition, as the hurricane gets weaker, its circulation will become shallower. That will mean it will be steered by winds lower in the atmosphere. Those winds are likely to turn Fred toward the west in a day or two.
Fred will continue to bring wind and heavy rain to the Cape Verde Islands on Monday night, but conditions should start to improve on Tuesday when the hurricane moves farther west and weakens.