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Fiona becomes Category 1 hurricane

Hurricane Fiona's track as of 11 a.m. Sunday
Posted at 11:17 AM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-18 08:18:13-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Fiona has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. Most forecast models continue to keep the system well east of Florida.

According to Sunday's 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Fiona has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and is located 50 miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico, moving west/northwest at 8 mph.

Life-threatening flooding and mudslides are expected across Puerto Rico.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra
  • The coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo to Cabo Frances Viejo

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Frances Viejo westward to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • South coast of the Dominican Republic west of Cabo Caucedo to Barahona
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Southeastern Bahamas
Hurricane Fiona's spaghetti models as of 11 a.m. Sunday
Hurricane Fiona's spaghetti models as of 11 a.m. Sunday

"We need to monitor this system. Not need to worry, but just monitor," said WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Kate Wentzel.

On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will approach Puerto Rico Sunday morning, and move near or over Puerto Rico Sunday afternoon or evening. Fiona will then move near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Monday, and near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.

Hurricane Fiona's track as of 11 a.m. Sunday
Hurricane Fiona's track as of 11 a.m. Sunday

The latest forecast track has the storm strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday — with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as it approaches Bermuda.

Most forecast models keep the system to the east of Florida and many islands in the Bahamas next week.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and are spreading westward across Puerto Rico. These conditions are expected to reach portions of the Dominican Republic later Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are possible across the watch area in the Dominican Republic Sunday night, and in the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas by early Tuesday.

Fiona is the third hurricane of the season.