As Tropical Depression Fred traverses the US Southeast, forecasters also are closely monitoring two tropical storms.
National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Tropical Storm Grace to strengthen into a hurricane over the northwest Caribbean and possibly make landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula later on Thursday.
A hurricane warning has been issued for a portion of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, including popular tourist destinations, such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum.
The cone of uncertainty shows Grace could be upgraded to hurricane status Wednesday afternoon and make landfall around Cozumel early Thursday morning. Once over the Yucatan Peninsula, the system will lose momentum but only regain hurricane strength after re-entering the southwest Gulf of Mexico (Bay of Campeche) early Friday.
By late Friday or early Saturday, Grace will make its final landfall in northeast Mexico.
The second tropical storm NHC is watching is Tropical Storm Henri, located about 135 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. The storm is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane Friday afternoon and ride up the US Northeast coast ride through the weekend.
Earlier this month, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) upgraded the number of named storms to 21 from its prior forecast of 15 in May.
NOAA expects at least ten hurricanes and up to five major ones with winds above 100 mph.
Statistically speaking, the busiest part of the hurricane season has just begun and will peak sometime in mid-September.