Tropical Storm Fiona has just strengthened to Category 1 hurricane status.
Fiona, the sixth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, is located about 50 miles southwest of Puerto Rico at around midday on Sunday, Sept. 18, the National Hurricane Center said.
It is the third hurricane of the 2020 season, ending Wednesday, November 30. It began Wednesday, June 1.
A northwestward movement is expected to begin later Sunday and continue through Monday, Sept. 19, followed by a north-northwest turn on Tuesday, Sept. 20, the hurricane center noted.
On the forecasted trajectory, the center of Fiona will move near Puerto Rico either Sunday afternoon or at dusk.
A total. of 12 to 16 inches of rainfall with a local maximum of 25 inches, particularly across eastern and southern Puerto Rico, is expected, the hurricane center said.
"These rains will produce life-threatening flash flooding and urban flooding across Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, along with mudslides and landslides in areas of higher terrain,” the hurricane center said.
Fiona will then move near the north coast of the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday, and near the Turks and Caicos Islands or east on Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 miles per hour with stronger gusts.
Additional strengthening is expected Monday and Tuesday as Fiona moves near the Dominican Republic and over the Southwest Atlantic.
Tropical-storm-force winds span up to 140 miles from the center.
"Even if Fiona never touches US soil and stays well offshore, the action of strong winds over the ocean will cause waves to form and extend outward hundreds of miles in the form of large swells," according to AccuWeather.com. "As these swells reach the coastal waters of the eastern US by next weekend, the surf can become dangerous for swimmers with the potential for frequent and strong rip currents."
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