Fred’s Track Shifts Westward – What That Means for Louisiana
After last year's record-breaking Hurricane Season 2020 which produced five named storms that made landfall in Louisiana, you can understand why we are a bit uneasy about the current hurricane season. It was at just about this time last year a tropical wave rolled off the African Continent and then developed into Hurricane Laura.
For the past week or so, we've been watching an area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic Ocean. That system has since developed into Tropical Storm Fred, although technically at the moment of this report, the system is Tropical Depression Fred.
Forecasters have suggested that Fred was going to be a west coast of Florida storm for several days. Yesterday, the models shifted and Fred, which was a time zone away from Louisiana's coastline is now forecast to make landfall a lot closer to the state.
Hurricane Laura did the same thing too. Don't remember that? Check out this graphic archive from the National Hurricane Center. Laura was initially forecast to make landfall east of Pensacola. Then the system kept sliding further and further west until eventually, it hit something. That something was Lake Charles.
As of now the track guidance from the National Hurricane Center has shifted a projected landfall that was east of Panama City Florida to one that might be a little closer to Destin Florida. But I wouldn't be surprised if that track didn't move even more west.
Track model guidance is certainly suggesting a westward shift but models are just that, they are not an official forecast. The forecast is creating using all of the model guidance not just one or two pieces of select models. So don't get lost in the spaghetti.
What does a westward shift in the path of Fred mean for South Louisiana? I would say not a lot as of right now. We would still be on the western side of the storm's circulation, that's also called the "good side" of the storm. Most of the showers and thunderstorms associated with Fred are on the eastern side.
If there is another mildly comforting difference between Fred and Laura it's this. Laura was a monster. A category 4 hurricane. Fred won't likely reach hurricane status before making landfall, at least on the current track guidance. However, if the system slides further west and passes over the "loop current" in the Gulf we could be telling a different story.
Oh, and once we get Fred out of the way, there will be Tropical Storm Grace to watch. It is following in an almost exact path of Fred as it moves through the outer islands and toward Puerto Rico and Hispanola.
Now, if you were looking to escape the potential rain and gusty winds, you might look here. This is nice. Real nice.
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