Hurricane Fiona is seen in the Atlantic basin early on Thursday. The Category 4 storm is moving to the northeast toward Bermuda, but is not expected to make landfall in the United States. Image courtesy NOAA/NHC
Sept. 22 (BP) — Hurricane Fiona, which is a major Category 4 storm, is headed for Bermuda on Thursday and is expected to bring severe winds and rain to the island, forecasters said.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. EDT update that the storm was located 195 miles west of Bermuda and about 910 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was moving north-northeast at 21 mph.
The NHC said that Fiona remains powerful and that Bermuda will see deteriorating weather conditions overnight.
“A north-northeastward or northeastward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected today through Friday. Some reduction in forward speed with a turn toward the north is forecast Friday night through Sunday,” the NHC said in its update.
“On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will pass just to the west of Bermuda overnight. Fiona’s center will then approach Nova Scotia on Friday, move across Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday and then across Labrador over the Labrador Sea on Sunday”
Fiona became a major hurricane on Tuesday and graduated to Category 4 strength on Wednesday. A hurricane is classified in Category 4 when maximum sustained winds reach at least 130 mph.
While the hurricane is not projected to make landfall anywhere in the United States, forecasters warn that swells from Fiona will likely spread westward across the southwestern Atlantic toward the U.S. East Coast and Canada.
“Large swells generated by Fiona are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along much of the east coast of the United States, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Atlantic Canada during the next few days,” NHC forecasters said in a discussion about Fiona.
This week, Fiona has pummeled Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other areas of the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, more than 1.3 million residents lost power due to the storm. On Thursday, there were still about a million without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.
Fiona was the sixth named tropical system in the Atlantic basin this year, following Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle and Earl. It was followed by Gaston, which became a hurricane in the open Atlantic but threatened no land.
Forecasters say there are multiple systems in the Atlantic basin that could develop into severe storms — particularly a tropical wave in the Caribbean just off the South American coast. Some forecasters say that potential storm could be the most dangerous threat to the U.S. mainland of the 2022 hurricane season.