Tropical Storm Fiona A Flood Threat To The Caribbean; Hurricane Watch issued for Puerto Rico

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  • Tropical Storm Fiona will move across the northeastern Caribbean.
  • It will produce torrential rains and strong gusts of wind in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Fiona could become a hurricane when it is close to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
  • It is too early to tell if this system will ever become a threat in the continental United States.

Tropical Storm Fiona is producing torrential rains and strong gusts of wind in the northeastern Caribbean and may become a hurricane as it moves near Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Here’s what we know about Fiona’s threats to the Caribbean and what the storm could mean in the future for the continental United States.

Latest status and forecast

Fiona’s center has entered the northeastern Caribbean after passing through Guadeloupe. Tropical storm force conditions will continue in the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday morning.

The storm continues to battle some unfavorable upper-level winds (wind shear) and dry air.

The worst of the rain and wind gusts are occurring in the central Lesser Antilles now after the center has passed because most of the thunderstorm activity is on the eastern side of the system due to wind shear. .

On this route, Fiona will move near or just south of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend, then on to Hispaniola on Sunday night or Monday. A slightly more favorable environment may allow for some intensification this weekend and Fiona could become a hurricane as it moves near Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).

After that, the uncertainty due to that possible land interaction grows, but some intensification is expected once Fiona reaches the waters north of Hispaniola.


projected route

(The red shaded area indicates the potential track of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone generally extend beyond its forecast track. ).

Caribbean threats

A hurricane watch has been issued for Puerto Rico, which means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy and St. Martin and for portions of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area within 36 hours.

Tropical storm watches have been issued for portions of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. This means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.


Areas from the Leeward Islands to Puerto Rico, eastern Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands could see a rainfall total of 4 to 10 inches (locally higher) from Fiona. That heavy rain could lead to dangerous flooding and mudslides this weekend into early next week, particularly in mountainous terrain. Up to 16 inches possible, particularly in eastern and southern Puerto Rico.


rain forecast

(This should be interpreted as a broad perspective of where the heaviest rain may fall and may change based on the forecast track of the tropical cyclone. Higher amounts may occur where rain bands stop for a period of a few hours.)

Some modest storm surge is possible on the east and south-facing coasts this weekend in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hispaniola. Additionally, rip currents and rough surf are likely.

Is Fiona a threat in the continental United States?

The bottom line is that the continental US, especially from Florida to the rest of the southeast coast, should monitor the forecast for now, as it’s too early to tell if Fiona will eventually become a threat.

That’s because Fiona faces the obstacles mentioned above, like wind shear, dry air, and the potential track over some mountainous Caribbean islands like Hispaniola.

Among the wide range of possibilities, the following stand out:

– Intensifying earlier and thus turning north into the central Atlantic Ocean away from the US East Coast, similar to Hurricane Earl last week.

-​Minimal strengthening over the next few days, continuing west to west-northwest, then turning north later, much closer to or over the Bahamas and possibly the southeastern US by the end of next week.

For now, the National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Fiona to gain some strength early next week, which would allow it to make a gradual turn to the north near Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

However, as is often the case in hurricane season, this forecast can change. Check back with us at for the latest updates on this forecast in the coming days.

Regardless of what happens, now is a good time to make sure you have a plan before a hurricane hits. You can find information on hurricane preparedness here.

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The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on the latest weather news, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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