Hurricane Fiona intensifies, now a category 4 storm

Fiona will bring dangerous rips and big surf to the North Carolina coastline
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 12:29 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:25 AM EDT
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Fiona's track remains well offshore of the U.S.
Fiona's track remains well offshore of the U.S.(Jim Howard)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As of the 5 a.m Wednesday advisory, Hurricane Fiona had strengthened to a category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 130 mph. The warm waters it will continue to travel over will help fuel further intensification through Wednesday. Tropical systems need a few main ingredients to thrive; warm sea surface temperatures, light wind shear, and plentiful moisture. Fiona will be enjoying all three over the next 24 hours. Fortunately, the powerful storm’s track continues to stay a good 500+ miles off the U.S. coastline as it passes by over the next 2-3 days.

Dangerous rip currents will be the biggest risk with Fiona
Dangerous rip currents will be the biggest risk with Fiona(Jim Howard)

The latest track continues to takes Fiona northeastward, tracking about 100 miles west of Bermuda Thursday night. Fiona’s winds, rains and storm surge will have no impact on Eastern NC (or any U.S. interests). However, our beaches will see dangerous rip currents along with higher surf, similar to what we saw with Hurricane Earl earlier this season. This will last from Thursday through Sunday as Fiona is expected to make its closest pass to Bermuda by Thursday night into Friday morning. From there, the hurricane is expected to move over the Newfoundland over Nova Scotia coastline over the weekend as a powerful extratropical storm.

Gaston poses no threat to any landmass
Gaston poses no threat to any landmass(Jim Howard)

Tropical Storm Gaston formed in the Atlantic Tuesday afternoon, becoming the seventh named storm of the season. Gaston is expected to stay well from Eastern NC and remain out to sea. Winds were near 65 mph Wednesday morning with the barometer reading at 1000 mb. The track has Gaston approaching Santa Cruz das Flores of the Azores late this week, then turning northwestward towards Greenland over the weekend. This storm poses zero threat, direct or otherwise, to the U.S.

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