The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for Puerto Rico on Saturday, with Tropical Storm Fiona set to hit the island by Saturday night, becoming the first named Atlantic storm in months to make landfall in a historically calm hurricane season.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the US Virgin Islands, as Tropical Storm Fiona intensifies on its way west toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
It is expected to hit Puerto Rico by Saturday night and the Dominican Republic by Sunday, before taking a course north, making it east of Florida, according to The Weather Channel.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, which means it would need to strengthen 14 mph to be considered a Category 1 hurricane.
Earlier this week, forecasters backed away from previous forecasts that the 2022 season would be particularly rough, with AccuWeather forecasters forecasting a total of 12 named storms, down from 19 forecast in April.
However, meteorologists at Colorado State University on Thursday released a two-week Atlantic report Hurricane Forecastset the odds of activity above normal at 50%, with a 40% chance of normal activity and a 10% chance of activity below normal.
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two other disturbances, one northeast of Bermuda and one east of Tropical Storm Fiona, although meteorologists believe neither has a chance of developing into a hurricane in the next 48 hours.
Fiona is the sixth identified storm this year, and only the third since Tropical Storm Colin, which formed off the coast of South Carolina in early July. The first hurricane of the year—Daniel—failed into a remote area of the North Atlantic, while Hurricane Earl drifted east of Bermuda, though it brought life-threatening rip currents to the island and parts of the east coast.
The last time two Atlantic hurricanes struck in one season was in 2013, according to a Colorado State University meteorologist. Philip Klotsbach.
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Forms of an Atlantic tropical storm named for the first time after a two-month historic calm (Forbes)