Tropical Storm Fred was passing south of Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Fred was located at latitude 17.6°N and longitude 66.8°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) south-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Fred was moving toward the west at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.
Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Puerto Rico including Culebra and Vieques and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Palenque to Cabo Frances Viejo, Dominican Republic. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Frances Viejo to the northern border with Haiti. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Gonaives, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.
A reconnaissance plane was able to identify a low level center of circulation in a low pressure system previously designated at Potential Tropical Cyclone Six on Tuesday evening and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Fred. The circulation around Tropical Storm Fred was still organizing. The low level center was about 45 miles (75 km) to the north of the center of circulation in the middle levels. The circulation in the middle levels was moving closer to the low level center. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring on the southern side of the low level center and near the center in the middle levels. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center in the northeastern quadrant of Fred. Winds in the other parts of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.
Tropical Storm Fred will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours. Fred will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will be under a small upper level ridge. The upper level winds in the ridge are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Storm Fred is likely to strengthen during the next 12 hours. The center of Fred will be near the eastern part of the Dominican Republic in about 12 hours. Tropical Storm Fred is likely to weaken on Wednesday while the center is near Hispaniola.
Tropical Storm Fred will move of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Fred toward the west-northwest during the next several days. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Fred will approach the eastern Dominican Republic in 12 hours. Fred could be over the northern coast of Hispaniola on Wednesday night. Bands in the northern side of Tropical Storm Fred will produce gusty winds and locally heavy rain over Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. Fred could drop heavy rain on parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Wednesday. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.