(CNN) – Tropical Storm Grace is the seventh named storm of the season, as Tropical Depression Fred degrades to a tropical wave.
Once a tropical depression, now Grace has strengthened and is a tropical storm that is located about 643 kilometers east of the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding, and even triggered a tropical storm warning for parts of the eastern Caribbean, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The maximum sustained winds are approximately 72 km / h and a strengthening is expected during the next few days.
On the current forecast track, the Grace center is expected to move over the Leeward Islands on Saturday night, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday and the Dominican Republic on Monday. A weakening is estimated early next week, after the system interacts with the Greater Antilles.
On Saturday morning the U.S. Coast Guard established the Yankee port condition (which is established when winds of 62-86 km / h are forecast) for ports in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which means that hurricane-force winds are expected within 24 hours.
The ports are closed to all incoming commercial traffic, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
“Recreational boat owners are advised to find a safe harbor and pay close attention to any changes in weather forecasts and small boat advisories over the weekend,” the statement said.
The Coast Guard also advised people to stay away from the beaches and to be prepared to leave the area.
Fred may reorganize over the Gulf
Tropical Depression Fred degenerated to a tropical wave late Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. All warnings were discontinued.
Fred’s remains are currently about 80 kilometers from Havana. On Saturday the island country had been drenched with rain.
Despite the weakening, conditions are favorable for some strengthening and Fred is forecast to become a tropical storm again on Sunday.
It is expected to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast Monday night as a tropical storm.
A state of emergency was issued on Friday for 23 counties, including Bay, Calhoun, Citrus, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington, according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Through Monday, 70-120 millimeters of rain are anticipated with local amounts of 200 millimeters in the Keys and South Florida. Fred is forecast to continue north across the Gulf, making landfall near the Alabama-Florida border Monday night.
Across Big Bend and northwest Florida, 70 to 170 millimeters of rain are expected with isolated highs of 250 millimeters.
Starting Monday, the impacts of heavy rain and flooding could spread to parts of the interior of the southeast.
CNN’s Judson Jones, Rebekah Riess and Alta Spells contributed to this report.
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