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Grace is strengthening over the southern Gulf

Grace is strengthening over the southern Gulf
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Posted at 12:21 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 23:22:37-04

UPDATE 8/19/21 11 AM

After traversing across the Yucatan and weakening Thursday, Grace is now back over the Gulf and the storm is strengthening. Max winds are now at 65 and the forecast track remains the same, with landfall south of Tampico MX later Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/19/21 11 AM

Grace made landfall this morning in the Yucatan and has weakened back to a tropical storm. It is expected to move back into the Bay of Campeche on Friday before its second landfall as a hurricane south of Tampico.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/18/21 11 PM

Grace's intensity remains unchanged. Winds remain at 80 and its headed west toward the Yucatan coast. It is expected to make landfall as a hurricane, with a second landfall also as a hurricane on the northern Mexican coastline Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/18/21 5 PM

Grace has winds of 80 mph and is expected to reach the Yucatan Friday. The forecast track takes it west across the Bay of Campeche into the northern Mexican coast near Tampico later Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/18/21 11AM

Grace is now a hurricane with winds of 75mph. The outflow is well defined but it is undergoing some shear. Waters in this area of the Caribbean are extremely warm & Grace is expected to maintain this strength until it makes landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula tomorrow morning. It should weaken but then strengthen again as it moves out over water, back to hurricane strength as it moves toward Mexico by early Saturday.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/18/21 8AM

Tropical Storm Grace is near Grand Cayman moving west.
Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Grace is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane later today, with some additional strengthening possible prior to the center reaching the eastern Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. Wind gusts to hurricane force have been reported on Grand Cayman. The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Hurricane Hunter observations is 993 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/18/21 5 AM

The outer bands of Tropical Storm Grace will bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds across the Cayman Islands today. Grace is still forecast to become a hurricane later today as it moves toward Mexico.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Grace is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by tonight, with some additional strengthening possible prior to the center reaching the eastern Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. A reporting station near Rum Point Beach on the north shore of Grand Cayman recently measured a sustained wind of 40 mph and a gust to 47 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure is 998 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/17/21 11 PM

No change with Grace's strength. Moving W now at 14 mph. Forecast remains unchanged with a landfall in the Yucatan mid-week as a Cat 1 and a second landfall south of Tampico MX by late week.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/17/21 8 PM

Grace continues to strengthen as it moves W at 15. Winds are now up to 60 mph.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/17/21 5PM

Grace continues to to move west at around 15 mph. The satellite presentation has improved since this morning with good outflow channels in all quadrants, meaning its exhaust system is working properly. This is likely a precursor to some intensification once it gets away from Jamaica. The storm will be steered west by a strengthening high pressure area aloft over the western Atlantic. This will take it into the Yucatan by Thursday with a second landfall expected south of Tampico MX by later Friday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/17/21 2PM

Tropical Storm Grace is dropping heavy rain over Jamaica & its beginning t spread into eastern Cuba. The track is unchanged since this morning.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/17/21 11AM

Tropical Storm Grace is becoming better organized but not much change in intensity is expected today due to interaction with Jamaica. By tomorrow, since it will be surrounded by very warm water, Grace is expected to become a hurricane. The Yucatan Peninsula is next in its path & it may weaken just a bit before retaining strength over water again. The current forecast calls for a cat. 1 hurricane heading toward the Mexican coast by the weekend. It will be no threat to SWFL.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/17/21 8 AM

Tropical Storm Grace is moving toward Jamaica and is forecast to move near the Cayman Islands tonight, and then approach the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday. Reports from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Grace could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Yucatan coast of Mexico late Wednesday and early Thursday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/17/21 5AM

Grace is forecast to move near the Cayman Islands tonight, and then approach the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday. Maximum sustained winds recently reported by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft were near 40 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Grace could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Yucatan coast of Mexico late Wednesday and early Thursday Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/16/21 11 PM

Grace continues west across the Caribbean with winds of 35 mph. The storm is soaking Haiti and will approach the Yucatan by late week. A strong high pressure ridge aloft over the western Atlantic will strengthen and steer Grace westward toward Mexico. There is a chance it could strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall on the northern Mexican coastline later this week.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/16/21 5PM

Tropical Depression Grace is maintaining 35mph winds as of 5pm. It is expected to strengthen back to tropical storm levels by tomorrow as it moves WNW at 13mph.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/16/21

No changes for Grace as of 2pm. Iy is forecast to keep moving WNW toward the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula by Thursday AM. Eventually the track takes it to the Mexican coast by Saturday AM with winds near hurricane force.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/16/21 11AM

Tropical Depression Grace is moving westward along the southern shore of the Dominican Republic with 35mph winds. Hurricane Hunters were able to find a center this morning. High pressure over the the Atlantic is expected to move westward over the SE US the next few days which should keep Grace on it's track toward Mexico. No impacts for SWFL.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

UPDATE 8/16/21 8AM

An air force reserve and noaa hurricane hunters are investigating Tropical Depression Grace this morning.

On the forecast track, the center of Grace will pass near the southern coast of Hispaniola today and tonight, and then between Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next day or so. Slow strengthening is expected to begin by Tuesday. Data from the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the minimum central pressure is 1008 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/16/21 5AM

Tropical Depression Grace approaching the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Flash flooding and mudslides possible across Hispaniola today due to the heavy rain.
5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches are expected across the southern terrain areas through Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next day or so. Slow strengthening is expected to begin by Tuesday as the storm moves south of Cuba. The forecast track takes the storm in the Gulf of Mexico toward northern Mexico late in the workweek into the upcoming weekend. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1010 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/15/21 11 PM

Tropical Depression Grace continues to move to the west at 15 mph with a high central pressure of 1011 mb. Grace has maximum sustained wind of 35 mph. Convection has increased with Grace, but its center of circulation has become elongated and disorganized. Grace's strength will depend on its track. If it moves over Cuba it could dissipate over the next few days, but if Grace takes a southern course it could strengthen over the warm water of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Either way it appears as though Grace will have no impact to SWFL.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/15/21 8 PM

Tropical Depression Grace is located about 150 miles to the southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. With wind of 35 mph it continues to move west at 15 mph. Grace will continue on a west to WNW motion bringing rain to Puerto Rico overnight and Hispaniola Monday. The forecast track takes Grace over Cuba and keeps it well away from Southwest Florida. Once moving into the Gulf Grace is expected to strengthen back into a tropical storm once again.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/15/21 5 PM

Grace has now been downgraded to a tropical depression with maximum sustained wind of 35 mph. Grace is now moving due west at 15 mph. Once again as I expected yesterday the cone has shifted south and west and all of Southwest Florida is out of the cone. Grace is expected to move off the western tip of Cuba late Wednesday which would be the closest it gets to SWFL. We could still get some rain from Grace, but it will track further away than Fred. Grace is expected to encounter dry air and interact with land over the next few days. Once it re-emerges into the Gulf of Mexico it is expected to strengthen back into a tropical storm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/15/21 2 PM

Tropical Storm Grace hasn't changed much over the past few hours with wind of 40 mph. Grace is moving rapidly to the WNW at 16 mph. Tropical storm force wind only extends 35 miles from the center. Grace is expected to move over Hispaniola Monday which should weaken the storm into a depression before moving back out over open water. Grace will then strengthen into a tropical storm. Depending on how much land interaction it makes with Cuba will determine when and how much Grace will strengthen. Hurricane hunters are currently flying through the storm and will provide an update at 5 pm as well as a full advisory and updated forecast cone.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/15/21 11 AM

Tropical Storm Grace continues to look disorganized as it moves quickly to the WNW at 16 mph. It has slowed down a bit, but maximum sustained wind remains at 40 mph. Tropical storm force wind extends only 35 mph from its center. Hurricane hunters will be investigating Grace later today to determine its strength. Grace is expected to take a similar path to Fred and pass over Hispaniola which should weaken the storm into a depression. It is then expected to move close to Cuba if not right over it. The strength depends on the track of Grace and how much land interaction it has. Grace should move WNW all the way past SWFL and the keys and into the Gulf of Mexico where it could strengthen into a stronger tropical storm. All of Southwest Florida is out of the cone and it looks like it will be as close as it is to us sometime late Wednesday into early Thursday. We could get some rain from Grace as it passes to our south, but it appears as though just like Fred, we will not experience much in the way of wind.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/15/21 5 & 8 AM

Grace is moving even slower now at 16 mph. The forecast track brings it across the Greater Antilles early this week and that should keep the storm from strengthening. It will then move into the Gulf later this week. The forecast cone still includes a portion of SWFL in case it decides wants to take a more northerly track. Most long-range forecast models are not overly bullish about the intensity of the storm with most of them showing it having a difficult time as it moves through the Greater Antilles as land will keep in check. At this time, it does not appear to be a significant threat to SWFL by mid-week but will continue to monitor.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/14/21 11 PM

Tropical Storm Grace is moving a bit slower around 20 mph to the WNW. It's still a minimal tropical storm with maximum sustained wind of 40 mph with minimum central pressure of 1010 mb. The track hasn't changed much, but the cone has slightly shifted to the north and east so Southwest Florida is still included in the cone.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/14/21 5 PM

Tropical Storm Grace is moving quickly at 26 mph. The cone has shifted to the south and west and only part of Southwest Florida is in the cone. Little strengthening is expected as Grace moves quickly to the west. In a few days wind shear may take its toll on Grace and land interaction with Cuba could also prevent the storm from strengthening. Maximum sustained wind is now down to 40 mph and is expected to remain a minimal tropical storm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/14/21 2 PM

Tropical Storm Grace continues to move quickly to the west at 23 mph. Maximum sustained wind remains at 45 mph with gusts to 60. Tropical storm force wind only extends 35 miles from the center. Grace is expected to move toward the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola over the next few days. Grace is in an environment where it could strengthen, but its fast forward speed will most likely keep Grace a minimal Tropical Storm. Southwest Florida is in the cone, but there are a lot of factors including land interaction, storm speed, and increased wind shear over the coming days. The next complete advisory and cone update will occur at 5 pm.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

UPDATE 8/14/21 11AM

Grace is slightly stronger at 11AM.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so. Grace is likely to weaken while it moves near and across the Greater Antilles Sunday night through Monday night. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/14/21 8AM

Grace is rapidly moving toward the Lesser Antilles. No changes with the 8AM intermediate advisory. Still holding with maximum sustained winds near 40mph.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/14/21 5AM

Tropical Depression #7 has strengthened to Tropical Storm Grace.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days. Weakening is expected early next week as the system interacts with the Greater Antilles.

Grace is a small tropical storm. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.

FOX 4 MORNING METEOROLOGIST TRENT ARIC

UPDATE 8/13/21 11PM

TD 7 continues west very quickly at 22 mph. No change in strength. Forecast track remains unchanged and is expected to follow a similar path that Fred took across the Caribbean.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/13/21 5PM

NHC has determined that former PTC 7 has a tight enough low level circulation to be classified as a tropical depression with winds of 35 mph. The track is expected to continue west through the weekend with strengthening to Tropical Storm Grace sometime this weekend, likely Saturday.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

UPDATE 8/13/21 2PM

Potential Tropical Cyclone 7 is continues to move westward at 21mph with 35mph winds. Conditions are favorable for strengthening & it should be near the Leeward Islands by Sunday. Grace is the next name on the list.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST CINDY PRESZLER

FIRST UPDATE 8/13/21 11 AM:

NHC is now issuing advisories for what will likely become Tropical Storm Grace this weekend. PTC 7 is positioned in the middle of the Atlantic east of the Windward Islands. The system is moving VERY fast at 21 mph toward the west. It is expected to approach the Windwards by Sunday then follow nearly the same path as Fred. This would place it in the Caribbean Gauntlet of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, all of which have difficult terrain that will likely prevent the storm from getting too strong. This factor and the fast forward speed are the reasons you don't see more significant intensification on the official forecast. Any path away from those areas could lead to a stronger storm and a track farther north. There is still time to watch it over the next few days while we deal with Fred.

FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY

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