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A National Hurricane Center graphic of Tropical Storm Fred's forecast path. Photo: NHC

Tropical Storm Fred formed south of Puerto Rico late Tuesday — and Florida is in its path, according to the five-day forecast.

State of play: Fred is the sixth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season. The storm system could intensify over the eastern Gulf this weekend, possibly to a hurricane, though the National Hurricane Center said it's too early to tell for sure.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What's happening: Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect across the Caribbean, including in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic.

  • Fred was packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph some 160 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the NHC said in an advisory at 2am Wednesday.

Threat level: The storm was expected to bring heavy rainfall across parts of Florida, as well as several Caribbean islands.

  • There's the potential for flash flooding and mudslides across the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, the NHC warned.

What to watch: Fred was moving toward the west overnight and was expected to turn back toward the west-northwest later Wednesday, according to the agency.

  • "On the forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to be near or over Hispaniola later today, and move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday," the agency said.
  • Most of Florida remains in the storm system's five-day forecast cone.
  • "There is a risk of wind and rainfall impacts in Florida beginning Friday in the Keys and spreading northward through portions of the Peninsula and the Panhandle this weekend," the NHC said.

Go deeper: NOAA's updated hurricane outlook calls for even more storms in 2021

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further forecasts from the NHC and National Weather Service.

Go deeper

How a natural disaster can bring couples closer together

A couple walks through a neighborhood in Houston hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

As stressful and destructive as they are, natural disasters can bring married couples closer together, per new research out of the University of Texas.

How it works: UT researchers had surveyed 231 newly-wed couples about their relationship satisfaction when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast in August 2017.

  • The storm submerged at least a quarter of Harris County, inflicting at least $125 billion of total damage in Texas and Louisiana.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic Caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
13 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.