Tropical Weather Bringing Heavy Rains to Southern US, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Monday that reconnaissance aircraft has found that Tropical Storm Fred “has slowed down a little,” but is expected to produce heavy rainfall and a dangerous storm surge along the coast of the Florida Panhandle later in the day.  Fred may have slowed its forward speed, but forecasters warned about the possibility of tornadoes and life-threatening surf and storm surges.  The weather forecasters cautioned that “a tornado or two” could be possible Monday morning over the Florida west coast and Panhandle, and during the late morning and into the afternoon from the Florida Panhandle northward into southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama. 
Once Fred makes landfall, it is expected to weaken, NHC said.  Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Grace is continuing to produce heavy rains in western Puerto Rico, the forecasters reported, and flash floods and mudslides are possible across the island of Hispaniola Monday.  On Hispaniola, tropical storm watches are posted for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti as Grace approaches. Haiti needs “grace” of another kind after suffering an earthquake Saturday, which came just weeks after the political crisis of a presidential assassination. Haiti has never fully recovered from a devastating earthquake in 2010.  

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