FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Three tropical systems were churning Monday in the Atlantic basin and threatening to impact the U.S. Gulf Coast, some Caribbean islands including earthquake-damaged Haiti, and the island territory of Bermuda.
Tropical Storm Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas in the Florida Panhandle around 2:15 p.m. local time.
The National Hurricane Center said wind shear kept Fred from intensifying much overnight, but the storm encountered more favorable conditions in the hours before landfall with winds strengthening to 65 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 115 miles from its center.
The main threats from Fred were rainfall — anywhere from 4 to 8 inches for Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle — and storm surge. High water between 3 to 5 feet could enter the area between Indian Pass and the Steinhatchee River, depending on the tide.
Tropical Depression Grace was dropping rain over Puerto Rico early Monday and forecast to move over Hispaniola later in the day. The hurricane center said forecasted rainfall between 5 inches and 10 inches could cause flooding and possible mudslides for Haiti and the Dominican Republic through Tuesday.
Haiti was already dealing with the effects of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which struck Saturday and was blamed for nearly 1,300 deaths.
Grace was centered 70 miles southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moving west at 12 mph. Top winds were around 35 mph, with little change in strength forecast during the next few days.
Tropical Storm Henri formed late Monday afternoon near Bermuda. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the island.
The system had maximum sustained winds around 40 mph. It was located about 140 miles southeast of Bermuda and expected to make a "slow clockwise turn toward the west" over the next few days, forecasters said in an advisory. The center of the depression was forecast to move southeast and south of the island territory.