By Nathan McCollumTROPICS — What was Tropical Storm Fred is now Hurricane Fred as the lack of any wind shear has allowed this system to rapidly intensify overnight. Hurricane Fred is a Category 2 Hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph. Further strengthening is likely over the next 48 hours as conditions remain excellent for tropical cyclone activity. The good news is the ridge is weakening and satellite pictures show an opening that will allow Fred to move north in a couple of days. The forecast is similar to yesterday as the steering currents are easy to identify on satellite. Nothing to indicate any type of west movement towards the United States. The location of Hurricane Fred is latitude 13.2 N – longitude 31.7 W with a central pressure of 970 mb. The movement is west-northwest at 13 mph with a gradual turn to the north expected over the next 48 hours. The visible and infrared satellite pictures show a well developed system with excellent outflow in all four quadrants. The infrared is showing a new eye wall and this could mean another rapid intensification trend. The water vapor picture shows an upper level low to the north of Hurricane Fred. This low pressure system is eroding the ridge and has created an opening for Fred to move north. This ridge weakness should continue for several days. There is a high confidence in this forecast as the steering currents remain strong. Again, nothing to indicate any threat to the United States as Fred is more than 3000 miles away. We will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Fred as we wait for the northerly turn. The next update will be Thursday.