Slight Increase in Strength Projected For Fiona; Storm to Reach USVI and PR Late Saturday Into Early Sunday
The National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 a.m. Friday update reveals a decrease in strength for Tropical Storm Fiona, moving from near 60 miles per hour Thursday night to near 50 miles per hour Friday morning. However, NHC is expecting a slight increase in strength as the Tropical Storm makes its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Saturday into early Sunday.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests in Hispaniola should monitor the progress of this system. Additional watches or warnings will likely be required tonight on Friday.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 a.m. Friday forecast, the center of Tropical Storm Fiona was located near latitude 15.7 North, longitude 58.1 West. Fiona is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h). A westward motion with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected through Saturday night or early Sunday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest later on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Fiona is expected to move across the Leeward Islands tonight and early Saturday, and move near or just south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Saturday into Sunday.
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is forecast during the next few days.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center.
Wind: Tropical storm conditions are expected across portions of the northern Leeward Islands within the warning area beginning this evening. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area across the Virgin Islands on Saturday and in Puerto Rico late Saturday or Saturday night.
Rainfall: Fiona is forecast to produce the following rainfall totals:
Leeward Islands: 3 to 6 inches.
British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: 4 to 6 inches with local maximum totals of 10 inches, particularly across eastern and southern Puerto Rico.
Eastern Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos: 4 to 8 inches with local maximum totals of 15 inches, particularly in terrain.
These rains may produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain, particularly southern Puerto Rico and eastern Dominican Republic.
Storm Surge: Localized coastal flooding will be possible along the coasts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in areas of onshore winds Saturday into Sunday.
Surf: Swells generated by Fiona are affecting the Leeward Islands, and are expected to spread westward to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today and Saturday. These conditions could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
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