FIRST ALERT: Fiona is now a category 4 hurricane, Hermine likely to form in the Caribbean later this week
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -
At 5:00 AM, the center of Hurricane Fiona was located near latitude 23.9 North, longitude 71.8 West. Fiona is moving toward the north near 8 mph. This general motion is expected to continue into tonight, followed by a turn toward the north on Wednesday. A turn toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will gradually move away from the Turks and Caicos tonight and Wednesday, and approach Bermuda late on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Fiona is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
Heavy rains around the center of Fiona will impact the Turks and Caicos through this evening with continued life-threatening flooding. Localized additional flash and urban flooding is possible in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Wells generated by Fiona are affecting the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas. These swells will continue to spread westward across the southwestern Atlantic toward the central and northwestern Bahamas and the east coast of the United States through midweek. Swells from Fiona are expected to reach Bermuda later this week. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
TROPICAL STORM GASTON
At 5:00 AM, the center of Tropical Storm Gaston was located near latitude 37.5 North, longitude 42.6 West. Gaston is moving toward the north-northeast near 16 mph. A turn to the northeast is expected on Wednesday, followed by a motion to the east. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or two. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. Gaston will weaken in the North Atlantic by this weekend and will not be a threat to the US.
CHANCE OF DEVELOPMENT
Western Tropical Atlantic: A tropical wave is producing shower and thunderstorm activity a few hundred miles east of the southern Windward Islands. The system continues to show signs of organization and it will likely become a tropical depression within the next two or three days. The disturbance is forecast to move west-northwestward across the southern Windward Islands by late today and then move toward the central Caribbean Sea later this week. Interests in the Windward Islands should closely monitor the progress of this system as heavy rainfall and gusty winds could affect these islands beginning later today. The chance of development is at 70% over the next two days and 90% over the next five days.
Models are in very good agreement on this system developing by the end of the week and then potentially entering the Gulf of Mexico next week where environmental conditions will be favorable for development along with very warm water temperatures.
Eastern Tropical Atlantic
A tropical wave is forecast to move off the west coast of Africa on Thursday. Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for at least gradual development of the system for a couple days thereafter while the system moves slowly northward, between west Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands, through the end of the week. The chance of development is at 50% over the next five days.
East Central Tropical Atlantic
A tropical wave located several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing disorganized shower activity. Slow development of this system is possible over the next several days as it moves northwestward and then westward over the tropical Atlantic. The chance of development is at 20% over the next five days.
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