|September 24, 2022|
Hurricane Fiona will slam Atlantic Canada; major hurricane threat looms for the US next week
Days after menacing Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos and other parts of the Caribbean, Fiona is now on a crash course with Atlantic Canada and is poised to become one of the strongest storms on record to impact the easternmost portions of Canada, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
Hurricane watches and tropical storm watches were issued for parts of the Atlantic Canada coast, with the Canadian Hurricane Center warning the storm could potentially evolve into "a landmark weather event" for Eastern Canada this weekend.
As of Thursday afternoon EDT, Fiona remained a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h). It was continuing to move north-northeast toward Bermuda at a brisk speed of 20 mph.
Fiona is expected to move quickly northward into Atlantic Canada while maintaining its hurricane intensity, bringing damaging winds, flooding rain and coastal flooding starting on Friday, which forecasters warned could lead to widespread power outages.
"Wave heights may reach 50 feet just offshore Cape Breton with significant coastal inundation into many harbors and inlets, which will damage boats and property," Anderson said.
Fiona has already generated some towering waves as it churned across the Atlantic this week.
Many across Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic still have no power or running water as Fiona churns toward Bermuda
More than a million people in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are waking up without power or running water again Thursday as crews work to repair critical utilities disabled by Hurricane Fiona now a Category 4 monster heading toward Bermuda.
The first major hurricane of this year's Atlantic season has killed at least five people across the Caribbean: one in Guadeloupe, two in Puerto Rico and two in the Dominican Republic, CNN reported.
Now packing sustained winds of 130 mph, the center of Fiona is due to pass just west of Bermuda early Friday, with conditions starting to deteriorate Thursday, said CNN Meteorologist Robert Shackelford. The island nation is under a hurricane warning; Americans are warned not to travel there, and relatives of US government personnel may leave, the State Department said.
In Puerto Rico, where Fiona delivered flooding rains and an islandwide blackout as it made landfall Sunday, more than 450,000 people lacked or had intermittent water service, and 1 million homes and businesses were still without power Wednesday, according to the government's emergency portal system.
In the Dominican Republic, where Fiona moved onto land early Monday, more than a million customers had no running water and nearly 350,000 homes and businesses were dark Wednesday, said Maj. Gen. Juan Méndez García, director of the country's emergency operations center.
More than 600 homes were destroyed, and some communities were cut off from aid, he said.
Major hurricane threat looms for the US next week
A tropical rainstorm that has been skirting along the northern coast of South America could eventually shift from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico, where it may undergo rapid strengthening into a major hurricane before threatening the United States, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.
AccuWeather's tropical forecast team, which began cautioning about the looming threat earlier this week, is growing increasingly concerned about the potential for a damaging strike from a hurricane in what has so far been a largely uneventful hurricane season for the U.S.
The system, dubbed Invest 98L by the National Hurricane Center, remained disorganized due to its proximity to South America and strong disruptive winds in the atmosphere around it. However, even if the system remains poorly organized into the end of the week, it could encounter more favorable conditions for tropical development into a tropical depression or tropical storm at any time into Saturday. The next name on the list for the 2022 season is Hermine.
The track of the storm is subject to change and may be influenced by how quickly the storm strengthens. If the system remains weak for longer, then it may have a greater chance of pushing onshore in southeastern Mexico or Central America. That interaction with land could cause the system to weaken, meaning it may pose much less or no threat to the U.S. Another more likely scenario is that the system could ramp up quickly, making it more likely to take a northerly track across Cuba, then to the Florida Straits and near the Florida Keys and Peninsula. (Source: AccuWeather)
Story Date: September 23, 2022