ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical Storm Fiona is on a path to threaten the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend. Tropical storm watches have been issued for the islands as of 5 p.m.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season’s sixth named storm formed Wednesday evening.
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“Interests in the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of this system,” the center said.
At 11 p.m. Thursday, Fiona was moving west at 15 mph, with maximum sustained winds of about 60 mph, forecasters said. Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days.
Fiona was about 335 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands and tropical storm warnings were issued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
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.
Fiona is expected to produce the following rainfall totals:
- Northern Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: 4 to 6 inches with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches across eastern Puerto Rico.
- Eastern Hispaniola: 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches.
Swells generated by Fiona are impacting the Leeward Islands and expected to spread west toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Friday and Saturday. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
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A tropical wave roughly between the west coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles is disorganized right now over the central tropical Atlantic.
The National Hurricane Center has highlighted the chance for development low at 0% over the next two days and 20% over the next five days when it turns northward over the central Atlantic.
It’s not expected to be a threat to Florida and is likely to remain a fish storm.
The next named storms will be Gaston, Hermine and Ian.
Hurricane season ends Dec. 1.
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