Storm surge and a deluge from Tropical Storm Fiona have battered the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe with at least two people reportedly washed away by rising water levels as the system threatened Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on Saturday.
In the 11am update on Saturday, the NHC said Fiona had sustained winds of 60mph with higher gusts. The NHC has issued a hurricane warning for Puerto Rico.
The system gained strength after passing through the northern Leeward Islands. Its center was about 130 miles southeast of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and is moving west at 8 mph.
Heavy rain will spread westward today to the British and US Isles and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic on Sunday and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday night.
Its tropical gale force winds stretch 125 miles.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Fiona was recovering Friday night after making inroads into the northeastern Caribbean and could gain hurricane strength through Monday.
Torrential rain left severe road damage in Guadeloupe with a video on Twitter showing fast-moving flooding pouring down streets to washed-out roads and roads flooding up to 2 feet, washing cars away.
Projected rainfall had been more than 8 inches in some parts of the island.
French overseas department government officials said two people were missing who were swept away by rising waters overnight.
“On the forecast route, the center of Fiona is expected to move near or just south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today through Sunday, and approaching the south or east coast of the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday,” NHC hurricane specialist Brad said reinhart.
Hurricane watches were already issued for Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic under a tropical storm warning.
Warnings remain in place for the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy, St. Martin and parts of the Dominican Republic.
The system’s updated path forecasts it moving away from Florida and gaining hurricane strength before making landfall in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. It is expected to maintain hurricane force as a Category 1 system with winds of 75mph and gusts up to 90mph as it sweeps over the island, approaching the Turks and Caicos and early next week threatened the southern Bahamas.
Many of the islands face heavy rains and possible flooding, with possible up to 16 inches in Puerto Rico and 12 inches in the Dominican Republic.
Saturday’s new five-day forecast sees it curve even further north and into the Atlantic Ocean, gaining strength as a Category 2 system through Wednesday with sustained 90-mph winds.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, a tropical wave was spotted midway between the west coast of Africa and the islands of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. The weather system is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms and is expected to develop slowly late this weekend and early next week as it turns north over the central subtropical Atlantic. The NHC gives him 20% of education over the five days.
In addition, the NHC has lowered the probability of a frontal low over the western Atlantic a few hundred miles west-northwest of Bermuda, which appeared Friday morning, to 0%.
Despite the low probability, their appearance coincides with the release of their Colorado State University tropics forecast for the next two weeks, which says the tropics could become much busier with a 50% chance of above-average activity. CSU also gave a 40% chance of normal activity and a 10% chance of below-average activity.
Fiona could become the third hurricane of the season, following Hurricanes Daniella and Earl earlier this month.
What had been forecast as a better-than-average tropical season was mostly quiet in July and August before ending on January 11th.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 1st. 30
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