By PDC’s Senior Weather
Specialist Glenn James
CURRENT TROPICAL CYCLONES:
Tropical Cyclone 07L (Fiona)…is located about 55 miles west-north-northwest of Guadeloupe
FIONA A LITTLE STRONGER… …HEAVY RAINS AND TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS CONTINUE ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
Fiona is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h). A westward to west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Sunday night. A turn toward the northwest is forecast on Monday.
On the forecast track, 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.
Fiona is forecast to move across the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday. Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts.
Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Fiona could be near hurricane strength when it reaches the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from the center. A wind gust of 44 mph (70 km/h) was recently reported at VC Bird International Airport in Antigua.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected across portions of the Leeward Islands within the warning area beginning this afternoon and will spread westward to the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday and across Puerto Rico late Saturday and Saturday night.
Tropical storm conditions are possible on Dominica this evening or tonight and across the British Virgin Islands on Saturday.
RAINFALL: Fiona is expected 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
Turks and Caicos: 4 to 8 inches
These rains may produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain, particularly southern and eastern Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic.
STORM SURGE: Localized coastal flooding will be possible along the coasts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in areas of onshore winds Saturday into Sunday.
SURF: Swells generated by Fiona are affecting the Leeward and northern Windward Islands, and are expected to spread westward to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today.
Swells will then reach the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas over the weekend. These conditions could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
A frontal low over the western Atlantic Ocean a couple of hundred miles northwest of Bermuda continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
This low is expected to move eastward to east-southeastward at 10 to 15 mph, and development into a tropical cyclone is not anticipated due to strong upper-level winds.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…10 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…10 percent
Showers and thunderstorms remain disorganized in association with the northern end of a tropical wave over the central Atlantic.
Some slow development of this system is possible early next week while it moves northwestward to northward.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent