While Tropical Depression Fred continues to flounder in the eastern Atlantic another vigorous tropical wave rolled off the African continent. That tropical wave has reached tropical storm status and was given the name Grace early this afternoon Louisiana time.

Tropical Storm Grace is expected to move south of the track of Fred. The system is forecast to maintain tropical storm status over the next five days and no dramatic strengthening is expected.

The reliable tropical models suggest Grace will stay on a west to west northwest track for the duration of the five days. Toward the end of the five day forecast period a curve to the north seems to be the most likely scenario for Grace.

Obviously there is an abundance of time to observe this system as it won't even be halfway across the Atlantic Ocean by the middle of the week. Some forecasters at the National Hurricane Center don't think that Grace will survive the trip across the ocean.  At this very early stage of the game this system does not appear to be problematic for the Gulf of Mexico but that is speculation based on long range models that are not known for their accuracy.