- Tropical Storm Fiona is moving through the northeast Caribbean.
- It will produce torrential rains and strong gusty winds in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
- Fiona could become a hurricane when near Puerto Rico.
- It is unlikely that Fiona will ever become a threat to the American continent.
Tropical Storm Fiona is producing torrential rains and strong winds in the northeastern Caribbean and could develop into a hurricane as it moves near Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
A hurricane warning was issued for Puerto Rico and parts of the Republic of Dominica and a hurricane watch was issued for the US Virgin Islands.
Here’s what we know about Fiona’s threats to the Caribbean and what the storm could mean on the road to the continental United States.
Latest Status and Predictions
Fiona’s center is now more than 100 miles southeast of Puerto Rico after passing through Guadeloupe on Friday evening.
Tropical storm force gusts were reported in U.S. territories. Recently, a station in Sainte-Croix reported a gust of 49 mph.
Fiona has continued to organize and is expected to become a hurricane before its center reaches Puerto Rico.
There’s a chance to get stronger early on Sunday as Fiona organizes herself better.
On this track, Fiona will move near or just south of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight, then north of Hispaniola Sunday night or Monday.
On Sunday, the intensity forecast is uncertain due to possible land interaction with Puerto Rico, but intensification is expected once Fiona reaches waters north of Hispaniola.
A hurricane warning is now in effect for Puerto Rico and parts of the eastern Dominican Republic, meaning hurricane conditions are expected in Puerto Rico on Sunday and the Dominican Republic overnight Sunday through Monday. .
A hurricane watch has been issued for the US Virgin Islands and northern portions of the Dominican Republic, which means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area within 36 hours.
Tropical storm watches have been issued for parts of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. This means tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.
The British and US Virgin Islands, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, can receive 4 to 6 inches of precipitation, with locally higher amounts from Fiona.
Rainfall in Puerto Rico can total 12 to 16 inches with locally up to 20 inches possible, especially in eastern and southern Puerto Rico, according to the National Hurricane Center. Rainfall totals of 4 to 7 inches are expected in the Dominican Republic, with locally higher amounts. Haiti can expect 1 to 3 inches of precipitation. These heavy rains could trigger dangerous flooding and mudslides this weekend through early next week, especially in mountainous terrain.
Modest storm surge is possible on east and south facing coasts this weekend in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hispaniola. In addition, rip currents and choppy waves are likely.
Is Fiona a threat to the continental United States?
Ultimately, the continental United States, especially from Florida to the rest of the southeast coast, should just watch the forecast, but direct impacts (rain/wind) are unlikely. Almost all computer models now show Fiona moving away from the United States, but it could have impacts in Bermuda.
Fiona could be near major hurricane strength as it approaches Bermuda at the end of the coming week. Details on how much wind and rain will come for the archipelago have yet to be determined, but as the models above show, there is growing certainty that Fiona will approach Bermuda.
However, as frequently happens during hurricane season, this forecast may change. Check back with us at weather.com for the latest updates to these forecasts in the days ahead.
Regardless of what happens, now is a good time to make sure you have a plan in place before a hurricane hits. Information on hurricane preparedness can be found here.
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