FIONA expected to reach hurricane intensity approaching the Dominican Republic
From west to east;
Tropical storm FIONA has just crossed the northernmost Leeward Islands headed west-nor’west at 10 knots and is shaping up to pass close to the south of the Virgin Islands later. The cyclone is then forecast to move over the eastern Dominican Republic late tomorrow at or near hurricane intensity. Irrespective of intensity, this will be a significant rainmaker. Upper level shear is displacing the worst excesses to the east, so peak foul weather will be in the wake of the eye as it passes. Currently producing winds gusting 70 knots over a windfield radius of 100 miles, this has a hurricane intensity rating (HSI) of 5 out of a possible 50 points (2 for size and 3 for intensity). There is some uncertainty over forward track and development but FIONA is currently predicted to reach an HSI rating of 16 (7 for size and 9 for intensity) when it reaches the Dominican Republic. FIONA may then weaken significantly as it interacts with land and then turn more to the north. As it moves through the south-eastern Bahamas, it is likely to intensify again. Beyond this, the forecast is highly uncertain. The most likely scenario is a track that keeps FIONA off the eastern seaboard, hopefully west of Bermuda but is almost certain to regain hurricane strength again off the east coast of the United States.
Disturbance Thirty One is now in the central Atlantic, well north of the convergence zone and headed north-west at 10 knots. This won’t make the Caribbean and will probably be absorbed into a frontal system early next week.
Disturbance Thirty Two is now centred 650 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands moving to the west at 15 knots. Conditions are not favourable and tropical development is not expected.
New maverick Disturbance Thirty Three has spun off an occluded front 700 miles east of Cape Hatteras, moving south-east at 11 knots. Conditions are marginally favourable for slow development over the next few days but this is unlikely to approach land.
Stand by for muck and filth over the Leeward and Virgin Islands, and later over the Dominican Republic.