Tropical Storm Fiona forms, heads toward Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic: See track
New Orleans Advocate, The (LA)
Tropical Storm Fiona has formed in the Atlantic, becoming the sixth named storm of the 2022 hurricane season.
Fiona on Friday was moving west into the Caribbean toward Puerto Rico. The latest 5-day track from the National Hurricane Center has the storm turning north toward the Bahamas instead of continuing toward the Gulf of Mexico. However, the long-range forecast can change.
Related: 60+ nonperishable items to consider for your emergency kit
No other disturbances were brewing in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic early Thursday. Here's what we know about the tropics as of 1 p.m. Thursday from the National Hurricane Center.
Where is Tropical Storm Fiona?
Tropical Storm Fiona formed Wednesday night in the Atlantic and is heading west into the Caribbean at 14 mph.
The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters were on their way to investigate the storm Thursday afternoon.
As of 1 p.m., Fiona was about 465 miles east of the Leeward Islands. The center of Fiona is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands late Friday, and move near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend.
It's expected to turn northwest on Sunday.
Fiona has winds of 50 mph and slow strengthening expected in the next few days. Peak winds of 70 mph are expected over the weekend, making it just shy of a Category 1 hurricane, which have winds of at least 74 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Watches and warnings in effect
Fiona is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Leeward Islands by Friday night. Gusty winds and heavy rain are also possible in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
Up to 12 inches of rain are possible from the storm. Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are also possible.
Tropical storm warning is in effect for:
Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and AnguillaSaba and St. EustatiusSt. Maarten
A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin
See the full advisory.
Busiest time of the season
This is historically the busiest time of the Atlantic hurricane season.
In the last 100 years, the tropics have been the most active in August, September and October, with Sept. 10 being the peak of the season, according to federal forecasters. About 80% of the systems that have hit the Gulf Coast formed during this time, according to the National Weather Service in Slidell.
So far, there have been six named storms this season - Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl and Fiona. The next available name is Gaston.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, but storms can form any time.
On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the wind categories are:
Tropical depression: up to 38 mphTropical storm: 39 to 73 mphCategory 1 hurricane: 74 to 95 mphCategory 2 hurricane: 96 to 110 mphCategory 3 hurricane (major hurricane): 111 to 129 mphCategory 4 hurricane: 130-156 mphCategory 5 hurricane: 157 mph and higher
What to do now
Now is the time to review hurricane plans and make sure your property is ready for hurricane season.
Here are some tips from the National Weather Service for how to prepare for the season:
Put together an emergency kit. Here are 60+ nonperishable items to consider including.Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.Make a plan with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in touch and where you will go if there's an emergency. Here's how to decide if you should evacuate.Plan your evacuation route and have an alternate route. Here are 15 things to do before evacuating.Make a plan for your pets. Here are some tips.If you have a generator, check it and see if any maintenance needs to be done. Don't forget these important generator safety tips.Do any maintenance you've been putting off on your vehicle.Review your insurance policies.Keep your trees around your home trimmed to prevent damage from broken branches. Here's advice from gardening expert Dan Gill.Have materials in advance to board windows to protect them from flying debris.
Don't miss a storm update this hurricane season. Sign up for our free Hurricane Center newsletter.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with the 1 p.m. outlook from the National Hurricane Center.