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NHC: Track of Hurricane Fiona Has It Veering Away from Mainland U.S.

Fiona battered Puerto Rico knocking out power island wide.

Florida - Monday September 19, 2022: The National Hurricane Center's forecast track for Hurricane Fiona shows it veering away from Florida and the mainland U.S., although it battered Puerto Rico over the weekend causing massive flooding and an island wide power outage across that U.S. island territory, large portions of which were still in the dark as of Monday morning.

Satellite imagery shows that Fiona has quickly become more organized in overall pattern structure as a clear eye feature became apparent during the overnight hours.

Tropical storm conditions have began to impact the Dominican Republic and those conditions are expected to increase to hurricane strength by this afternoon. The center of Fiona will pass over the eastern end of the island of Hispaniola by this afternoon, while heavy rain and winds bands will continue to whip the island through tonight.

Hurricane and/or tropical storm conditions are expected to continue across Puerto Rico and the eastern end of the island of Hispaniola throughout the day.

Heavy rainfall will continue to produce life-threatening and catastrophic flooding, mud and land slides across Puerto RIco and the Dominican Republic. Flash and urban flooding is likely for eastern portions of Hispaniola.

On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will move over the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic Monday morning and emerge over the southwestern Atlantic Monday afternoon.

The center is forecast to pass near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday. Some strengthening is expected during the next few days after the Fiona emerges over the southwestern Atlantic, and Fiona is forecast to become a major hurricane by Wednesday.

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LOCATION: As of 5 am Monday morning, September 19, hurricane Fiona was centered near 18.5N and 68.6W about 10 nautical miles west south west of Punta Cana on the island of Hispaniola. It was moving at 8 miles per hour with an estimated minimum central pressure of 977 millibars or 28.85 inHg.

Fiona will continue on its present motion through Monday tonight, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday and the north on Wednesday.

WINDS: Maximum sustained wind speed were 92 mph with gusts up to 115 mph.

RAIN: Fiona is forecast to produce an additional 4 to 6 inches of ran with a local maximum of 10 inches over southern Puerto Rico, and 10 inches as well over the northern and eastern Dominican Republic. Over northern Puerto Rico, Fiona is forecast to produce additional 1 to 4 inches with local maximum of 6 inches. Storm Total over northern Puerto Rico is 4 to 12 inches with local maximum of 20 inches.

WAVES: Wave heights of 12 feet or greater extended outwards to120 nautical miles in a northern semicircle, 90 nautical miles in the southeast quadrant and 60 nautical miles in the southwest quadrant. Peak seas are currently 24 ft in the Mona Passage. Seas are expected to build to 38 ft by the time Fiona strengthens to a major hurricane over the Atlantic late Tuesday.

SWELLS: 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 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. These conditions could cause life- threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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Fiona is forecast to strengthen after moving away from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Hurricane conditions are expected in the Turks and Caicos by Tuesday, and tropical storm conditions should impact the southeastern Bahamas late Monday or early Tuesday.