FRED is currently a little further west than anticipated, clearing the coast of Haiti and heading west-nor’west at 12 knots. The cyclone lost much of its organisation over land, and wind speeds are down to 40 knots in gusts but with very heavy rainfall. FRED will revitalise over open water as it passes north of Cuba and towards the Florida Straits. The general consensus is still for a turn to the north west after passing the Florida Keys and a track parallel to the coast towards the Florida panhandle for landfall on Monday. The general feeling would seem to be a rather weak tropical storm on this heading but with some strong gusts in squalls and very heavy rainfall, particularly to the east of its track. Let’s hope so. If the US Navy modeller who had this heading to the west is right, still and warm water awaits in the western Gulf which would present a very different picture indeed. For those who must, this has a predicted maximum hurricane severity index rating of just 5 out of 50 (2 for size and 3 for intensity) which, to we laymen, means winds gusting 65 knots with a tiny tropical storm force windfield of just 70 miles, with most of the muck and filth to the east of the nominal centre. At the moment, there are no reports of casualties across Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, but considerable rainfall in places would have presented a dangerous situation for some.

Disturbance Twenty Seven is just over a day east of the Windward Islands moving west at 18 knots. This is rather dishevelled and development is unlikely but will at the very least bring some increasing showers and thunderstorms to Trinidad and the Windward Islands tomorrow.

Disturbance Twenty Nine is centred around 850 miles north-east of the mouth of the Amazon, some three days from the Leeward Islands. This looks to be shaping up to move across the northern Leeward Islands and possibly near or just south of Puerto Rico on Sunday with increasingly favourable conditions for cyclone development.

Stand by for tropical storm conditions from Cuba to the Florida Straits.

Image Mario Salieri