First major hurricane of season; watching tropical waves

HOLT, Fla., Sept. 20, 2020—Fiona became the first major hurricane of the season this morning.

The National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. update reported Fiona’s sustained winds at 115, making it a category 3 storm.

Strengthening is forecast for the storm to reach category 4 intensity with winds of 140 mph in the next 36 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 mph from the center with tropical storm winds 150 miles. Wind gusts are as strong as 130 mph.

Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Puerto Rico Sunday as a category 1 storm, dumping rain and leaving more than 1 million people on the island without power.

It continued on to the Dominican Republic where more than 1 million people are without running water.

Closer to home, a tropical wave in the central subtropical Atlantic became Invest 98 this morning.

Located several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands, the NHC is forecasting gradual development during the next several days and a tropical depression could form by the latter part of this week as the system moves into the Caribbean Sea.

It has a 50 percent chance of development during the next five days.

Finally, Invest 97 in the central Atlantic is now at 80 percent and could become Tropical Depression 11 in the next day or two, according to the NHC.

It is forecast to remain in the Atlantic, moving away from the United States.

The next name on the hurricane list is Gaston.

Staff and NHC forecast

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