Tropical Storm Fred was expected to gain strength from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday before slamming into the Florida Panhandle later Monday.
The National Hurricane Center said Fred is set to bring heavy rains, winds and storm surge flooding to some of the coastal areas along Florida and Alabama.
A storm surge warning has been issued from the Indian Pass to the Steinhatchee River, the NHC said. A tropical storm warning also has been issued for the coast of the Florida Panhandle from Navarre to the Wakulla and Jefferson County line.
Water levels could rise 2 to 4 feet in the storm surge warning area, experts said.
The storm was about 200 miles from Florida’s coast Sunday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 23 of the state’s counties in anticipation of Fred.
Tropical Storm Grace also is expected to hit Haiti this week, just days after the nation suffered a devastating, deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake Saturday, killing at least 724 people.
A tropical storm warning involving Grace has been issued by the NHC for the US Virgin Islands, parts of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Grace is moving northwest at around 16 mph, with max sustained winds of 40 mph. It is expected to make landfall on the island of Hispaniola on Monday.