Much of Florida is on standby as a developing system, designated Potential Tropical Cyclone Six by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), could become the sixth-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Churning in the Caribbean, Potential Tropical Cyclone Six currently sits about 220 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The system is moving toward the west-northwest at 18 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph — just 4 mph shy of tropical-storm-force winds.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has been monitoring the system, saying on Tuesday that it was still too early to determine how the storm will impact the Sunshine State. Forecasters noted that the system will likely be upgraded to Tropical Storm Fred later today, and encouraged Floridians to stay alert for any changes.
🌀 No major changes to PTC #6 overnight. It is still too early to determine impacts to Florida, but residents should begin reviewing their storm plans.
➡️ As the tropics become more active, Floridians need to have a disaster plan in place. Learn more – https://t.co/h8paBLvxMI pic.twitter.com/zcJhq2CZ0K
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) August 10, 2021
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis agreed, urging Florida residents in a press release to be prepared and put together an evacuation plan before the storm makes a potential landfall.
“As we closely monitor this tropical cyclone, it is my top priority to ensure Floridians have the tools and resources they need to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm winds hitting our state this weekend. Floridians know all too well the devastation hurricanes can have on their lives and we must take this threat seriously,” said Patronis. “As we saw with Hurricane Michael, hurricanes can form and strengthen quickly, leaving little time to prepare and evacuate. The time is now to prepare and protect your home and business. Heed all watches and warnings from state and local officials and do not wait until a storm is making landfall.”
If upgraded, Fred would be the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. There have been no named storms since Hurricane Elsa on July 9.