ORLANDO, Fla. — Meteorologists are tracking three systems in the tropics on Tuesday.
5 p.m. Tuesday update:
Tropical Storm Gaston has formed in the Atlantic. Channel 9 meteorologist George Waldenberger said Gaston is not a threat to Florida.
Waldenberger said Hurricane Fiona remains a Category 3 storm and is forecast to become a Category 4 storm by Wednesday. It is expected to pass about 600 miles off of Florida’s coast. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Bermuda.
Waldenberger said meteorologists are also watching a disturbance in the Tropical Atlantic with an 80% chance of forming into a tropical depression in the next five days.
“This is the one we have to monitor where it goes next week and how strong it can become,” he said.
11 a.m. Tuesday update:
The Category 3 storm continues to bring life-threatening flash flooding and damaging winds to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Fiona remains a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
The National Hurricane Center reported a new tropical depression has also formed in the central Atlantic.
Tropical Depression 8 is forecast to move north northeast into the Atlantic and is not a current threat to the U.S.
“The new tropical depression is of little consequence,” meteorologist Rusty McCranie said. “It should become (Tropical Storm) Gaston but stay in the open waters of the north Atlantic.”
There is also a tropical disturbance that will be moving into the Caribbean later this week that bears watching, McCranie said.
4:44 a.m. Tuesday update:
Fiona gained strength overnight in the Caribbean into a major Category 3 hurricane.
The storm now has winds around 115 mph.
Hurricane Fiona is hitting the Turks and Caicos Islands early Tuesday and is forecast to be just west of Bermuda on Thursday evening.
Fiona will eventually move into the north Atlantic and into Eastern Canada.
11 p.m. Monday update:
Hurricane Fiona is still growing, with winds up to 110 MPH, Channel 9 certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.
Fiona is likely to become a major hurricane overnight, if not in the morning, Terry said.
Hurricane conditions are expected in the Southeast Bahamas.
9:20 p.m. Monday update:
Fiona is gaining strength and organization as the system pulls north of the Dominican Republic, Channel 9 Certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.
A well-defined eye is showing on the GOES-16 satellite, an indication of an increasingly mature hurricane and will likely grow to become a major hurricane about 600 miles off our east coast by later this week.
Waves from the storm will arrive by late Wednesday and Thursday and bring high surf and beach erosion in addition to deadly rip currents.
Read our earlier updates below:
Hurricane Fiona had strengthened to a Category 2 storm Monday afternoon as it became more organized north of the Dominican Republic.
The hurricane is forecast to intensify into a Category 4 storm in the coming days, after it passes near the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Trailing bands of rain will prolong the threat of intense flooding in parts of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico well into Monday evening, even as Fiona continues to move farther away.
Fiona will likely pass 600 miles offshore from Central Florida’s coast line, with wave energy arriving at the area’s beaches later this week.
Beachgoers should beware of rip currents.
Chief meteorologist Tom Terry is tracking Fiona live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Stream his forecast live here.
11 a.m. Monday update:
As of 11 a.m. Monday, Fiona was moving off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Meteorologist George Waldenberger said.
He said hurricane hunters are expected fly out to further investigate the storm Monday night.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall for a third time, packing a punch to the Dominican Republic early Monday.
Meteorologist Brian Shields said Fiona’s sustained winds were 90 mph as it went ashore, with gusts exceeding 100 mph.
The category 1 storm hit near Boca de Yuma around 3:30 a.m. EST.
On Sunday, Fiona made its second landfall along the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocon shortly after 3 p.m.
Shields said Fiona first made landfall as a tropical storm in Guadeloupe on Friday.
He said as of Monday morning, the hurricane was moving very slowly, causing “extreme catastrophic rain” from the Virgin Islands back through Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Fiona’s current path should take it very close to the Turks and Caicos Islands and then up toward Bermuda before moving near Canada later in the week, Shields said.
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