Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Leeward Islands by Friday evening as it makes its way across the Atlantic, leading agencies in a portion of the northern islands to issue Tropical Storm Warnings, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Tropical storm conditions are also possible within portions of the Virgin Islands beginning on Saturday and then reaching Puerto Rico late Saturday and Saturday night.
A hurricane hunter air force was deployed Thursday afternoon to investigate the storm. "Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days," the NHC stated.
WHERE IS TROPICAL STORM FIONA LOCATED?
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Tropical Storm Fiona is located about 425 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph
Direction and speed: Fiona is moving toward the west at 14 mph.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- St. Kitts
- St. Eustatius
- St. Maarten
According to the NHC, a Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- St. Barthelemy
- St. Martin
Forecasters said a Tropical Storm Watch indicates that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
WHAT IS TROPICAL STORM FIONA'S PROJECTED PATH?
"On the forecast track, the center of Fiona is expected to move across the Leeward Islands Friday night and early Saturday, and move near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Saturday into Sunday," the NHC said in its latest advisory.
FOX 35's exclusive FOX Model is very much inline with the current Fiona forecast from the NHC.
"Long term tracking takes Fiona at moderate tropical storm intensity (winds at 60-65mph) across Puerto Rico this weekend and near the Dominican Republic by late weekend into early next week," FOX 35 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Jayme King said. "From there, our FOX Model takes the system out to sea, well east of the Florida Peninsula.
WILL TROPICAL STORM FIONA HAVE AN IMPACT ON FLORIDA?
As of right now, our exclusive FOX Model shows Fiona will not have a direct impact on Florida, but ocean swells could be a concern at area beaches.
The FOX 35 Storm Team will be tracking Fiona every step of the way.