Caribbean weather puerto rico: Weather Observations across the Caribbean

Fiona to impact Puerto Rico, nearby islands; future track after Caribbean very uncertain

Weather News


Widespread rain amounts of 4 to 8 inches are forecast with up to 12 inches in Puerto Rico due to the higher elevations. Mudslides and local flooding are a threat, which will exaggerate as the soil further saturates. The rain may still be a threat there on Monday as well.

Bryan Norcross
FOX Weather

Updated at 9:20 a.m. Eastern

Tropical Storm Fiona continues to struggle against dry air and strong upper winds, but it will still impact the northeastern Caribbean islands – from the island of Guadeloupe north – late today, then the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico over the weekend.  

Winds will be very gusty in heavy squalls, especially in areas exposed on the east and south sides of the islands to the north of Fiona’s track. Gusts in higher elevations could reach hurricane strength.

Fiona has been tracking a bit south of the forecast, which will expose more of the islands to high winds since all of the strongest winds in the circulation are on the north and east sides of the center.

Widespread rain amounts of 4 to 8 inches are forecast with up to 12 inches in Puerto Rico due to the higher elevations. Mudslides and local flooding are a threat, which will exaggerate as the soil further saturates. The rain may still be a threat there on Monday as well.

When Fiona reaches the Caribbean, its forward speed is forecast to slow down a bit. It won’t be getting as much of a push from high pressure to the north. This slowdown might allow it to consolidate and strengthen as it gathers more moisture around the center. The overall environment is also forecast to become somewhat more conducive for development.

Then, as Fiona is pushing toward the Dominican Republic on Sunday, the forecast becomes quite murky.

First, we can’t be sure of the Fiona’s intensity on Sunday. There are a variety of factors in play. But the intensity is important because the strength of the storm and its future track are interrelated. 

A strong dip in the jet stream will set up along the East Coast of the U.S. and over Florida late in the weekend and early next week. In most scenarios, that dip will scoop up Fiona and pull it north. The question is, when will that happen?  

If the storm is reasonably well developed when it passes Puerto Rico, the dip should be able to grab Fiona then and take it north, perhaps through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It would then likely develop into a strong storm in the Atlantic well offshore of the Bahamas.

If however, Fiona remains reasonably weak, it’s likely to move farther west before turning north, meaning it would be dragged over the tall mountains of the Dominican Republic or Haiti or even eastern Cuba. Fiona could re-form after its trip over the mountains, or it could dissipate. But whatever’s left of the system could be over or near the Bahamas and loser to the East Coast of the U.S.   


When storms pass over those mountainous islands, the results are unpredictable, which makes it impossible to know what state Fiona will be in if it takes that track.

When and if the storm reaches the Atlantic, and if it still has a circulation, the computer forecast models indicate a weather pattern conducive for redevelopment over the Atlantic waters. So everybody in the Bahamas and on the U.S. East Coast, including in Florida, should stay informed.   

There’s a small but not zero chance that a very weak Fiona ducks under the scoop and continues west south of Cuba. The jet-stream scoop is forecast to be quite strong, however, so that appears to be the least likely scenario at this point. 

There’s a rule that forecasts for disorganized systems and systems that interact with mountainous islands often have larger errors and are subject to change. That certainly applies here.

It appears it will be late in the weekend before we have a better idea what Fiona might do, when we see how strong it gets and how far south and west it tracks through the Caribbean. At that time we might know to what degree the mountainous islands will come into play.

Elsewhere, the National Hurricane Center is making note of a non-tropical disturbance off the coast of the U.S. and a disorganized tropical disturbance in the central Atlantic. Both have a slight chance of developing as they move into the open ocean. Neither is a threat to land.

None of the systems coming off of Africa appear to be an immediate threat to develop.

FOX Weather Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross has a podcast, Tracking the Tropics with Bryan Norcross, available now on FOX News Audio. You can get it on your device by clicking here.

Puerto Rico is under hurricane warning as Fiona approaches : NPR

Puerto Rico is under hurricane warning as Fiona approaches The storm threatens to dump up to 20 inches of rain as forecasters placed Puerto Rico. People are bracing for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.


Originally published September 17, 20229:57 AM ET

The Associated Press

Residents attach protective plywood to a window of their home in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona, in Loiza, Puerto Rico, on Saturday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP

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Alejandro Granadillo/AP

Residents attach protective plywood to a window of their home in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona, in Loiza, Puerto Rico, on Saturday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP

HAVANA — Tropical Storm Fiona was expected to become a hurricane as it neared Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening to dump up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain as people braced for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.

The storm already lashed several eastern Caribbean islands, with one death reported in the French territory of Guadeloupe. Regional prefect Alexandre Rochatte said the body was found on a roadside after a home washed away in the capital of Basse-Terre. More than 20 other people were rescued amid heavy wind and rain that left 13,000 customers without power, with the storm tearing up roads, downing trees and destroying at least one bridge.

Fiona was centered 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of St. Croix late Saturday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It was moving west at 9 mph (15 kph) on a path forecast to pass near or over Puerto Rico on Sunday night. Fiona was expected to become a hurricane before reaching Puerto Rico’s southern coast.

«We are already starting to feel its effects,» Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said at a news conference in which the lights briefly went out as he spoke, prompting groans and laughs across the island. «We should not underestimate this storm.»

Officials said the heavy rains anticipated would be dangerous because the island’s soil is already saturated.

«We’re not saying that the winds aren’t dangerous, but we are preparing for a historic event in terms of rain,» said Ernesto Morales, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in San Juan.

Many Puerto Ricans worried about serious power outages since the reconstruction of the island’s power grid razed by Hurricane Maria in 2017 only recently began. The grid remains fragile and power outages occur daily, with some 37,000 customers already in the dark Saturday.

Luma, the company that operates the transmission and distribution of power on the island, said it flew in an extra 100 lineworkers ahead of the storm but warned of «significant» outages over the weekend.

Fiona was forecast to swipe past the Dominican Republic on Monday as a potential hurricane and then Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands with the threat of extreme rain.

Forecaster posted a hurricane watch for the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engaño westward to Cabo Caucedo and for the northern coast from Cabo Engaño westward to Puerto Plata.

In Puerto Rico, authorities opened shelters and closed public beaches, casinos, theaters and museums as they urged people to remain indoors. Officials also transferred hundreds of endangered Puerto Rican parrots to their shelter.

«It’s time to activate your emergency plan and contact and help your relatives, especially elderly adults who live alone,» said Dr. Gloria Amador, who runs a nonprofit health organization in central Puerto Rico.

Pierluisi said $550 million in emergency funds were available to deal with the storm’s aftermath along with enough food to feed 200,000 people for 20 days three times a day.

At least one cruise ship visit and several flights to the island were canceled, while authorities in the eastern Caribbean islands canceled school and prohibited people from practicing aquatic sports as Fiona battered the region.

On Guadeloupe, authorities said they recorded wind gusts of up to 74 mph (120 kph). They also said 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell in three hours in the Gros Morne area.

Forecasters are monitoring two other systems

Fiona, which is the Atlantic hurricane season’s sixth named storm, was predicted to bring 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain in eastern and southern Puerto Rico, with as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) in isolated spots. Rains of 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) were forecast for the Dominican Republic, with up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) in places. Life-threatening surf also was possible from Fiona’s winds, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lester in the eastern Pacific dissipated Saturday afternoon after making landfall to the south of Acapulco on Mexico’s southwestern coast.

The cluster of storms was about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-southeast of Acapulco, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph) late in the afternoon.

The hurricane center said Lester’s remnants could drop from 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 centimeters) of rain on the coasts of upper Guerrero state and Michoacan state, with isolated areas getting 16 inches (41 centimeters).

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Madeline formed farther out in the Pacific, but forecasters predicted it would not pose any threat to land as it moved away from Mexico.

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