Hurricane Fred has formed off the coast of West Africa, prompting a hurricane warning for Cape Verde, which is bracing for heavy rains and high winds, the National Weather Service said Monday.The latest weather service update saw Fred packing winds of almost 80 mph with higher gusts. It is expected to pass over the northwestern portion of the island chain later Monday. It is not expected to strengthen much before Monday night. As of August 31, 2015 2 p.m. ET, Fred was about 60 miles east-southeast of Ribeira Grande in the Cape Verde Islands, which are situated roughly 400 miles west of Dakar, Senegal. It was moving northwest at 12 mph, and hurricane-force winds extended 15 miles from the center of the storm. Forecasters reminded islanders that wind speeds can increase 30% on the peaks and windward sides of hills and mountains. It’s unclear if the hurricane will make it to the Caribbean or United States, as Fred is forecast to experience gradual weakening beginning Tuesday. Fred is expected to bring 4 to 6 inches of rain to the Cape Verde Islands with the possibility of up to 10 inches in isolated areas, which could result in life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, the weather service warned.
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