A hurricane warning was issued for Puerto Rico on Saturday, reflecting forecasters’ belief that it will intensify into a hurricane — with sustained winds of at least 74 mph — near or over the island on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, hurricane watches are in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic, the National Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters said Fiona’s biggest threat could be the rain expected to dump in Puerto Rico: typically 12-16 inches, and 20 inches in remote areas there.
Tropical storm conditions — including winds of at least 39 mph — are expected to reach the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands starting Saturday afternoon and spread to Puerto Rico by Saturday night.
The Hurricane Center said hurricane conditions are expected in Puerto Rico on Sunday and Sunday night, and a possible hurricane in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday night.
The storm could also reach hurricane strength Monday as it passes over or near the Dominican Republic, forecasters said.
Fiona became a tropical storm over the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday and entered the eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday.
Expectation of heavy rain
Here’s the projected rainfall for each location, according to the Hurricane Center:
• Leeward Islands, including Guadeloupe and the North Windward Islands: 2-4 inches above what they have already received.
• British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: 4-6 inches, isolation area may reach 10 inches.
• Puerto Rico: 12-16 inches, isolation area may reach 20 inches.
• Dominican Republic: 4-8 inches, isolation area may reach 12 inches. Especially on the far east coast.
• Haiti: 1-3 inches, with a maximum total length of 4 inches in isolation.
• Turks and Caicos Islands: 4-10 inches.
Several tropical storms have passed the island since then, but Dorian was the last to pass within 50 miles of hurricane strength, CNN meteorologists said.