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Fred will sideswipe us, dumping up to 6 inches of rain

Tropical Storm Fred, which was churning toward the Florida Panhandle on Sunday, could dump 4-6 inches of rain on Henderson County this week, the National Weather Service said.

After making landfall late Monday or early Tuesday, Fred is expected to move north into Tennessee, sideswiping Western North Carolina with rainfall. High winds are not expected, National Weather Service meteorologist Ashley Pratt said.

"It will be well west of us but we're still concerned" that the tropical storm will combine with a cold front aleady in the region to produce "quite a bit of rainfall, heavy at times, that could lead to isolated flooding," she said.

The flood threat will steadily increase on Monday as showers and thunderstoms move in. "The greatest potential for excessive rain appears to be Tuesday and Tuesday night as a remnant circulation from Fred moves northward to the west of the region," an advisory said. "This could result in a flash flooding threat, especially in areas that receive multiple rounds of heavy rainfall."

The chance of rain is 80 percent Monday through Thursday and the overall accumulation of 4-6 inches of rainfall could cause flash flooding. The cold front will bring cooler temperatures through most of next week, with highs of 77 on Sunday, 74 on Monday, 72 on Tuesday and 74 on Wednesday.