Hurricane Warning for Puerto Rico as Tropical Storm Fiona tracks west

Heavy rains likely to produce flooding & mudslides across portions of Puerto Rico

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tropical Storm Fiona continues to pour heavy rains over portions of the Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands is now impacting Puerto Rico .

The 8 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center showed the system’s max sustained winds continue to be 70 mph.

The storm was moving west-northwest at 8 mph. The minimum pressure was 991 mb.

The storm is about 65 miles south-southeast of Ponce Puerto Rico.

A west-northwestward motion at a similar forward speed is expected to begin later Saturday, followed by a turn toward the northwest by Sunday evening.

On the forecast track, the center of the storm is forecast to move near or south of the Virgin Islands Saturday evening, approach Puerto Rico Saturday night, and move near or over Puerto Rico Sunday night. Fiona should then move near the Dominican Republic on Monday.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • South coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Cabo Caucedo
  • North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Saba and St. Eustatius
  • St. Maarten
  • Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • South coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Cabo Caucedo
  • North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • South coast of the Dominican Republic west of Cabo Caucedo to Barahona

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Fiona is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday or Sunday night while moving near Puerto Rico.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center.

Hurricane conditions are expected on Puerto Rico Sunday and Sunday night and are possible in the U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday night. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday.

Tropical storm conditions will continue across portions of the Leeward Islands within the warning area through Saturday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions will reach the U.S. and British Virgin Islands Saturday afternoon, spread westward across Puerto Rico Saturday night, and reach portions of the Dominican Republic Sunday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible across the watch area in the Dominican Republic Sunday night.

Fiona is forecast to produce the following rainfall:

  • Leeward Islands and Northern Windward Islands: Additional 2 to 4 inches.
  • British and U.S. Virgin Islands: 4 to 6 inches with local maximum of 10 inches possible.
  • Puerto Rico: 12 to 16 inches with local maximum of 20 inches possible, particularly across eastern and southern Puerto Rico.
  • Dominican Republic: 4 to 8 inches with local maximum of 12 inches possible, particularly on the far eastern coast.
  • Haiti: 1 to 3 inches with isolated maximum totals of 4 inches.
  • Turks and Caicos: 4 to 6 inches.

These rains are likely to produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain, particularly southern and eastern Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic.

The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas in areas of onshore winds if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:

  • Southern coast of Puerto Rico: 1 to 3 ft
  • Vieques and Culebra: 1 to 3 ft
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: 1 to 2 ft

Localized coastal flooding is also possible elsewhere in Puerto Rico.

Storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds in the Dominican Republic.

Swells generated by Fiona are affecting the Leeward Islands, the northern Windward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas. These conditions could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.