ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical Storm Fiona continues to spin in the Atlantic and is expected to gain some strength as it moves closer to Puerto Rico through the weekend.
As of 11 p.m. Friday, Fiona was 55 miles west-northwest of Guadeloupe.
The storm was packing 60 mph winds and was trekking west at 14 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center of the storm.
In the latest update from the National Weather Service, the center of Fiona is expected to move near or just south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Saturday into Sunday and approach the southern or eastern coast of the Dominican Republic Sunday afternoon.
From there, Fiona is forecast to move across the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday.
Once it moves near The Bahamas, it’s forecasted to become a hurricane.
Fiona is forecast to produce the following rainfall totals:
- Leeward Islands and Northern Windward Islands: 3 to 6 inches
- British and U.S. Virgin Islands: 4 to 6 inches
- Puerto Rico: 4 to 8 inches with maximum totals of 12 inches, particularly across eastern and southern Puerto Rico.
- Eastern Dominican Republic: 6 to 10 inches with maximum totals of 16 inches possible
- Turks and Caicos: 4 to 8 inches
- Haiti: 1 to 3 inches with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches
Eventually, most computer models show Fiona making a turn to the north and away from Florida, but it’s too soon to know the weather system’s eventual path.
Storm surge is expected to raise water levels by as much as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds in the Dominican Republic.
Meantime, another low-pressure system is in the open Atlantic behind Fiona, but it only has a 20% chance of tropical development over the next five days.
The National Hurricane Center is also watching a frontal low over the western Atlantic, a few hundred miles west-northwest of Bermuda. The system is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms, and it’s expected to move east to east-southeast at 10 to 15 mph.
Chances for development into a tropical cyclone is forecast at 10% through the next five days.
The next named storms will be Gaston, Hermine and Ian.
Hurricane season peaked on Sept. 10 and ends Dec. 1.