Tropical Storm Grace's track shifts west, taking much of South Florida out of its path

FORT LAURELDALE, Fla. Tropical storm Grace formed Saturday morning in the Atlantic Ocean. It saw its wind speed drop and its track shift west. This forced Palm Beach and most Broward to flee its path.
Florida will still be affected by the storm, according to a long-range forecast.

Grace, which was the seventh named storm of Atlantic hurricane season on Saturday at 5 a.m., now has a track that will see it enter the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center in its 8 pm update.

Grace was moving west at 23 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, as of 8:15 p.m.

The U.S. Virgin Islands (Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic) were all subject to a tropical storm warning. Forecasters predict that Grace could reach Dominican Republic Monday. It is expected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding.

It traverses Haiti, which was hit by a 7.2 earthquake late Monday and Tuesday.

There are two possible routes for the storms: the Gulf of Mexico and further up the northeast coast of America. It may track Tropical Storm Fred through the mountains of northern Caribbean. This could reduce its potential for becoming dangerously strong. According to the current forecast, the storm will reach 50 mph at its closest approach to the Dominican Republic in the early part of next week.

According to the long-range forecast, it will be parked in Florida Straits by Thursday as weak tropical storm with 45 mph sustained wind and 60 mph gusts.

The system is currently small, with tropical-storm force winds extended out to 35 miles.

Over the next few days, the storm is expected move west or westward. Forecasters predict that the storm's center will pass over the eastern Caribbean islands on Saturday night, before passing over Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands on Sunday. Tropical Storm Grace is expected move over the Dominican Republic Sunday night, and then over Haiti Monday night.

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The National Weather Service issued an 8 p.m. advisory that Grace was not only developed, but also a new system with low-pressure and disorganized thunderstorms, 200 miles north of Bermuda. According to the National Weather Service, although the system may see gradual development as it moves south, there is a low likelihood of formation in the next five days.

Grace, like Fred, could face the mountainous island gauntlet in the northern Caribbean. This could deplete its strength making it difficult for the United States to assess how dangerous it is. The National Hurricane Center said that the model showed the storm becoming hurricane-force in three days.

Jamie Rhome, a National Hurricane Center meteorologist, stated that it is too early to speculate on potential impacts to the Southeast Coast of the United States. It is August. It's middle of hurricane season. It will be moving in the vicinity of the United States for the next five to seven day.

Robert Molleda is the National Weather Service's warning coordination meteorologist in Miami. He said that the weather conditions ahead of the storm don't seem to be favorable for it getting very strong. He said that the storm's predicted course was similar to Fred's, which was weakened after a trip across mountainous islands in the Caribbean. He said it was still early and forecasters will soon be able to predict the storm's path and strength.

He said that it doesn't pose a threat to South Florida right now. We will be keeping an eye on it to see what happens over the next few days.

According to AccuWeather (private forecasting service), the storm faces challenges such as dry air, wind shear, and crosswinds that could hinder the formation of a rotating tropical cyclone.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty, the tropical rainstorm is located in an area of dry air. It also has some African dust to its west and north which slows down development.