Tropical Storm Fiona has strengthened in the Atlantic Ocean and is slated to bring rain and strong winds to multiple Caribbean islands this weekend.
As of Friday morning, the maximum sustained winds from Fiona are about 50 miles per hour with some stronger gusts, according to an alert from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to strengthen slightly within the next few days but has not yet grown into a category 1 hurricane. “Rainfall impacts continue to be the greatest threat related to Fiona,” the San Juan NWS account tweeted this morning.
Several islands are currently under tropical storm watches, as conditions could change within the next day or two, The New York Times reported. The British and U.S. Virgin islands are expected to receive 4 to 6 inches of rain. Puerto Rico is expected to receive 4 to 8 inches of rain, with a maximum of 12 inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center alert.
Fiona formed earlier this week and is one of several storms to have shown up after the first August in 25 years without a named storm. It was also the third August since records began in the 1940s with no named storms in the Atlantic. The quiet month was a relief, given that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-average Atlantic hurricane season earlier this year.
But September seems to be making up for lost time. Hurricane Earl formed earlier this month, bringing heavy rain to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as well as sustained winds of up to 90 miles per hour last week. On the other coast, Tropical Storm Kay brought heavy rain to California, triggering landslides in areas previously scarred by wildfires.