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Forecasters watch Tropical Storm Fiona and 2 new Atlantic disturbances

Fiona was about 15 miles north-northwest of Guadeloupe Friday evening, moving west at about 15 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. update.
This graphic from the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Fiona's location and forecast cone as of 8 p.m. Friday.
This graphic from the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Fiona's location and forecast cone as of 8 p.m. Friday. [ National Hurricane Center ]
Published Sep. 16|Updated Sep. 17

Forecasters are expecting Tropical Storm Fiona to move west over the next couple of days, passing over the Leeward Islands, then the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend.

In its 8 p.m. update Friday, the National Hurricane Center said tropical storm conditions and heavy rains now are being seen in parts of the Leeward Islands.

Fiona was about 15 miles north-northwest of Guadeloupe Friday evening, moving west at about 15 mph, according to the update. A hurricane hunter plane recorded Fiona’s maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, with higher gusts.

Forecasters expect Fiona to strengthen slightly over the next few days. A five-day forecast graphic from the hurricane center predicts Fiona will develop into a hurricane on Wednesday.

Fiona is expected to continue on its west-northwestward path and slow down a bit through early Monday, then turn toward the northwest later Monday.

Forecasters predict the center of the storm will pass “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 then is expected to cross the Dominican Republic Sunday night and into Monday, the hurricane center said.

It’s still too early to know what, if any, effects the storm will have on Florida. Some models still show the path of the storm moving toward Florida’s east coast, though many predict it will turn to the northwest before reaching the east coast of the United States.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, the Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin. A tropical storm watch was issued for Dominica and the north and south coasts of the Dominican Republic.

Heavy rains from Fiona will reach the Leeward Islands by Friday night, and then reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Saturday and into Sunday, forecasters said. The rain may produce flash and urban flooding, along with possible mudslides.

The National Hurricane Center was also watching two disturbances Friday evening — one located midway between Africa’s west coast and the Lesser Antilles, and the other a few hundred miles northwest of Bermuda.

In addition to Tropical Storm Fiona, the National Hurricane Center also is watching two disturbances late Friday afternoon — one located midway between Africa’s west coast and the Lesser Antilles, and the other a few hundred miles west of Bermuda.
In addition to Tropical Storm Fiona, the National Hurricane Center also is watching two disturbances late Friday afternoon — one located midway between Africa’s west coast and the Lesser Antilles, and the other a few hundred miles west of Bermuda. [ National Hurricane Center ]

A tropical wave was producing disorganized showers and is expected to turn north over the weekend and into early next week, forecasters say. The hurricane center is giving the system a 20% chance of development in the next five days.

A frontal low over the western Atlantic, a few hundred miles west-northwest of Bermuda, was producing disorganized storms. Forecasters expect the low to move east to east-southeastward at about 10 to 15 mph but were giving it a low chance of development due to strong winds.

• • •

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