Hurricane Fiona reaches category 3 strength as it clips the Turks & Caicos

Fiona’s track continues to stay well offshore of the U.S. coastline
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 8:37 AM EDT
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Fiona's track continues to stay well off the U.S. coast
Fiona's track continues to stay well off the U.S. coast(Jim Howard)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As of the 5 am advisory, Hurricane Fiona was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph. Fiona has caused problems for the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico has been without power for over 36 hours. Parts of the island reported wind gusts as high as 110 mph and current early rain totals from the storm range from 10″ to as high as 27″ inches in some communities. The satellite imagery of Fiona is becoming more defined, showing increased organization around a central eye. Further intensification is expected over the next few days.

Hurricane Fiona is brushing the eastern islands of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tuesday morning. The forecast puts the center of Fiona over the super heated water just east of the Bahamas by Wednesday. This is when Fiona is expected to reach its maximum strength, potentially a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds. This would make the first major hurricane of the season. The track then takes Fiona northeastward towards Bermuda, keeping Fiona about 500 miles off the NC coast. This will spare us from the wind and rain fields along with potential storm surge. However, our beaches will see an increased rip current threat 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 Friday morning. From there, the hurricane is expected to move over the Newfoundland coast over the weekend as a powerful extratropical storm.

Fiona will bring dangerous rips and big surf to North Carolina
Fiona will bring dangerous rips and big surf to North Carolina(Jim Howard)

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