What’s happening with Hurricane Fred

So, you’re probably going to be hearing the name ‘Fred’ a lot in the next few days.  That would be Fred as in Hurricane Fred.

Early this morning, Hurricane Fred became the second hurricane of the year to develop in the Atlantic. The storm is anticipated to hit peak strength today, as it hits the Cape Verde Islands. At this time, forecasters believe it will weaken as it moves west, but for Cape Verde, Fred could bring considerable damage.

At this point, The Weather Channel is calling Fred a “Category 1” hurricane (the lowest rating out of a possible 5), with sustained winds up to 80 mph being reported and gusts even stronger. It’s expected to maintain that intensity over the next 12 hours, but not get much stronger. Even so, the damaging winds and possible 4-6 inches of rain could be catastrophic for the islands of Cape Verde.

Around 300 miles off the African coast, Cape Verde is a network of fifteen islands, ten of which are inhabited. Around half a million people live on the islands, where an arid climate and mountainous, low vegetation terrain could mean mud slides and avalanches, particularly in those areas where up to 10 inches of rain could fall. That’s in addition to the coastal flooding, waves, and storm surges that will strike with the hurricane. This is also believed to be Cape Verde’s first hurricane warning, signaling the possibility of complications in the wake of the hurricane’s hitting land.

After hitting Cape Verde, Hurricane Fred will continue to move across the Atlantic, turning more to the west later this week—though it’s expected to weaken considerably. Still, The Washington Post notes that this hurricane brings with it a ton of firsts. “Fred now holds the record for the easternmost hurricane formation in the tropics,” The Post’s Brian McNoldy reports. Not only is it the first time the Cape Verde Islands have faced a hurricane warning, it’s produced the first satellite image of a hurricane over the islands. “The only other time a hurricane formed over the islands was in 1892 —  long before the satellite era,” McNoldy notes.

In the world of weather, this is a big deal. But it’s an even bigger deal for those who call Cape Verde home. We’re hoping the hurricane passes without any damage, and that everyone in Cape Verde stays safe.

(Image via iStock)