Tropical Depression Seven has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Fiona in the Atlantic and is moving toward the Caribbean islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters began issuing advisories on the depression at 11 am Wednesday. It was upgraded to a tropical storm at 9:45 pm
The system is forecast to strengthen over the coming days, but current predictions keep it well below hurricane strength. As of 8 pm, Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
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The agency encouraged residents to review hurricane plans and supplies since the peak period of hurricane season lasts until mid-October.
“A tropical wave currently tracking across the central Atlantic will move into a region that could support gradual tropical development through the rest of the week and into the weekend,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty earlier Wednesday morning.
Wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico and southwest Atlantic could limit strengthening of the system.
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Even without a tropical storm, tropical moisture from a stalled front along the Gulf Coast is expected to bring thunderstorms across Florida for the rest of the week. Some areas could see 1 to 2 inches of rain in short periods, according to AccuWeather.
Tropical storm watches have been posted for the northern Leeward Islands.
Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of 8 pm Sept. 14:
Tropical Storm Fiona
- Location: 650 miles east of the Leeward Islands; 1,921 miles east of West Palm Beach
- Max wind speed: 50mph
- Direction: west-northwest at 16 mph
On the forecast track, the center of the storm is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands late Friday and Friday night, and be near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend.
Satellite-derived wind data indicates that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is possible during the next few days.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles east of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb.
Spaghetti models for Tropical Storm Fiona
Who is likely to be impacted?
Tropical Storm Fiona: A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola should monitor the progress of this system, as additional tropical storm watches or warnings will be required for portions of those areas on Thursday.
Colorado State University’s 2-week forecast for Sept. 1-14
Colorado State University’s two-week hurricane forecast for Sept. 1-14 calls for a 70% chance of near-normal activity, a 25% chance of above-normal activity and a 5% chance of below-normal activity.
When is the Atlantic hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
When is the peak of hurricane season?
Although the season has gotten off to a quiet start, the peak of the season is Sept. 10, with the most activity happening between mid-August and mid-October, according to the Hurricane Center.
Weather watches and warnings issued for your area
Tropical forecast next five days
See the National Hurricane Center’s five-day graphical tropical weather outlook below.
Excessive rainfall forecast
What’s out there?
Systems currently being monitored by the National Hurricane Center.
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