Tropical Storm Fiona A Flood Threat To The Caribbean; Hurricane Watch Released for Puerto Rico, DR

Tropical Storm Fiona A Flood Threat To The Caribbean;  Hurricane Watch Released for Puerto Rico, DR
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  • Tropical Storm Fiona will move across the northeastern Caribbean.
  • It will produce flooding rain and strong gusts of wind in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Fiona can turn into a hurricane when close to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
  • It is too soon to say whether this system will become a mainland US threat.

Tropical Storm Fiona floods the northeastern Caribbean with strong winds and may strengthen into 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 for the United States mainland.

Latest Situation and Forecast

After Fiona’s center crossed Guadeloupe, she entered the northeastern Caribbean. The storm took action overnight after battling wind shear and dry air over the Atlantic. The storm is more symmetrical, but most of the storm activity still remains in the central east.

On this track, Fiona will sail near or just south of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today and tonight, then to Hispaniola on Sunday night or Monday. A slightly more favorable environment could allow for some concentration this weekend and turn into a hurricane as Fiona cruises near Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).

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


Projected Path

(The red shaded area indicates the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that the effects of any tropical cyclone (especially heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) often extend beyond the forecast path.)

Caribbean Threats

A hurricane watch has been issued for the eastern and northeastern portions of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, meaning hurricane conditions are likely in the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm warnings are issued for the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbuda, Saba, and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin and parts of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning zone within 36 hours.

Tropical storm hours have been issued for parts of the south coast of the Dominican Republic. This means tropical storm conditions are possible in the next 48 hours.


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


Precipitation Forecast

(This should be interpreted as a broad view of where the heaviest rain may fall and may vary depending on the tropical cyclone’s forecast path. Higher amounts may occur where rain streaks stop over a period of several hours.)

Moderate storm surges could occur along east and south-facing coasts this weekend in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hispaniola. In addition, rip currents and rough surf are possible.

Is Fiona a Mainland US Threat?

As a result, the US mainland should watch the forecasts for now, especially from Florida to the rest of the Southeast coast, as it’s too soon to say whether Fiona will eventually become a threat.

This is because Fiona encounters the aforementioned obstacles such as wind shear, dry air and potential route over some mountainous Caribbean islands such as Hispaniola.

Among the wide variety of possibilities are:

– It intensifies earlier, and therefore curves northward into the mid-Atlantic Ocean, far off the US East Coast, similar to Hurricane Earl last week.

– Minimal strengthening over the next few days, continuing west-northwest, then curving north, much closer to or above the Bahamas and possibly the Southeast US next week.

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

However, as often happens during hurricane season, this forecast is subject to change. Check us back on for the latest updates on this forecast in the coming days.

Regardless, now is a good time to make sure you have a plan before a hurricane hits. Information on hurricane preparedness can be found the game.

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