Fiona is expected to strengthen as it moves through several Caribbean islands over the next several days.
Most models put Fiona moving to the west toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before taking a northly path east of Florida.
Fiona could be very near hurricane strength as it approaches the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. The terrain of Hispaniola is likely to disrupt Fiona’s circulation, but global models suggest Fiona shouldn’t have much trouble reorganizing itself once over the far southwestern Atlantic, according to the Hurricane Center.
Several factors will determine Fiona’s intensity over the coming days and into next week, including wind shear, dry air and the impact land has over the tropical storm.
“There will be a brief window, into Friday, where Fiona may gain some more strength as a tropical storm, despite disruptive wind shear,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.
“But, beyond Friday, interaction with the progressively larger islands and taller mountains over the northern Caribbean will likely lead to weakening or at least cause strengthening to cease.”
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AccuWeather forecasters expect wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico and nearby steering winds to shift Fiona into a northly path after it reaches the Bahamas.
If it does, early predictions are that Fiona could miss the US However, with Fiona still more than a week away, weather patterns can change, including a southward dip in the jet stream.
This could allow Fiona to wander close to the Atlantic coast of the US next weekend and beyond, AccuWeather forecasters said.
Residents along the Florida’s East Coast, along with coastal residents north of the state, were advised to closely monitor Fiona’s progress.
Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of 11 am Sept. 16:
Tropical Storm Fiona
- Location: 135 miles east of Guadeloupe; 1,559 miles southeast of West Palm Beach
- Max wind speed: 50mph
- Direction: west at 15 mph
- Next advisory: 2 p.m.
At 11 am, the center of Tropical Storm Fiona was located 135 miles east of Guadeloupe. Fiona is moving toward the west near 14 mph. A westward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through early Sunday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest and northwest Sunday and Sunday night.
On the forecast track, the center of Fiona is expected to move across the Leeward Islands tonight, near or just south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Saturday into Sunday, and approach the southern coast of the Dominican Republic Sunday night and early Monday.
Data from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph, with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center.
Some slight strengthening is forecast during the next few days.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
- Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and Anguilla
- Saba and St. Eustatius
- Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin
- Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra
- US Virgin Islands
A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
- British Virgin Islands
Tea National Hurricane Center said additional watches will likely be required later today.
Spaghetti models for Tropical Storm Fiona
See the latest models on where Tropical Storm Fiona could go.
What else is out there and where are they?
Tropical wave 1: A frontal low over the western Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles west-northwest of Bermuda is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
Tropical wave 2: Disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean are associated with the northern end of a tropical wave.
How likely are they to strengthen?
Tropical wave 1: This low is expected to move east to east-southeast at 10 to 15 mph, and development into a tropical cyclone is not anticipated due to strong upper-level winds.
- Formation chance through 48 hours: low, 10 percent.
- Formation chance through 5 days: low, 10 percent.
Tropical wave 2: Some slow development of this system is possible early next week while it moves northwest to north over the central subtropical Atlantic.
- Formation chance through 48 hours: low, near 0 percent.
- Formation chance through 5 days: low, 20 percent.
Who is likely to be impacted?
Tropical Storm Fiona: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Leeward Islands within the warning area by this evening. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area across the Virgin Islands beginning on Saturday, and then reaching Puerto Rico late Saturday and Saturday night.
Heavy rains from Fiona will reach the Leeward Islands by this evening, spreading to the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Saturday, reaching the Dominican Republic Sunday, and the Turks and Caicos Monday night or Tuesday.
This rainfall may produce considerable flood impacts including flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain.
Tropical waves: It’s too early at this time to determine if there will be any impact to the US from the tropical wave.
Forecasters urge all residents to continue monitoring the tropics and to always be prepared during what’s expected to be an active hurricane season.
Colorado State University’s 2-week forecast for Sept. 15-28
Colorado State University’s hurricane forecast Sept. 15-28 gives the highest odds for above-normal activity — 50% — with lower odds for normal — 40% — and below-normal — 10%.
When is the Atlantic hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
When is the peak of hurricane season?
Although the season has gotten off to a quiet start, the peak of the season is Sept. 10, with the most activity happening between mid-August and mid-October, according to the Hurricane Center.
Weather watches and warnings issued for your area
Tropical forecast next five days
See the National Hurricane Center’s five-day graphical tropical weather outlook below.
Excessive rainfall forecast
What’s out there?
Systems currently being monitored by the National Hurricane Center.
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