Tropical Storm Fiona nears Guadeloupe
Basse-Terre – Tropical Storm Fiona was approaching the French island of Guadeloupe on Friday, forcing the closure of schools, businesses, and airports across the Leeward Islands.
Weather forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in the American city of Miami said that the storm, located 75 miles east of Guadeloupe, had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (mph).
They also issued a tropical storm warning for the British Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, St Barthelemy, St Martin, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for Dominica and forecasters said that additional watches or warnings may be needed later on Friday or on Saturday.
Fiona is moving towards the west near 14 mph and a westward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through early Sunday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest and northwest Sunday night.
“On the forecast track, the centre of Fiona is expected to move across the Leeward Islands on Friday, near or just south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday into Sunday, and approach the southern coast of the Dominican Republic on Sunday night and early Monday,” NHC forecasters said.
Fiona is forecast to produce rainfall totalling three to six inches across the Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands, and between four to six inches for the British and US Virgin Islands.
The Turks & Caicos could experience rainfall of between four to eight inches.
“These rains may produce flash and urban flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain,” the NHC forecasters said, adding that swells generated by Fiona are affecting the Leeward and northern Windward Islands, and are expected to spread westward to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“Swells will then reach the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the
south eastern Bahamas over the weekend,” the NHC forecasters said. “These conditions could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”