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Hurricane Fiona is the season's first major hurricane

It is forecast to get stronger over the next few days, but stay away from the continental U.S.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hurricane Fiona is the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season, moving towards the Turks and Caicos Islands after lashing Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The storm had winds of 115 mph with stronger gusts early Tuesday. Fiona is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. It is the strongest hurricane of the season, and it may get even stronger. Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.

It was moving towards the north-northwest at 10 mph with hurricane-force winds outward up to 30 miles from the center. The tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 150 miles from the center of the storm.

Credit: WLTx

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands.

Heavy rainfall and localized life-threatening flash flooding will continue over portions of the Dominican Republic today. Heavy rains around the center of Fiona will impact the Turks and Caicos through this afternoon with continued life-threatening flooding. Localized additional flash and urban flooding is possible for southern portions of Puerto Rico.

The storm is forecast to stay away from the continental United States.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic:

A tropical wave located several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands is producing a broad area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. It is moving west at 15-20 mph.  Gradual development of this system is forecast during the next several days as the system approaches the Windward Islands.

A tropical depression could form by the latter part of this week as the system moves into the eastern and central Caribbean Sea.

Credit: WLTX

Shower and thunderstorm activity continues to become better organized in association with an area of low pressure located over the central subtropical Atlantic. It was located about 950 miles west-southwest of the westernmost Azores.  

Environmental conditions appear slightly favorable for additional development. A tropical depression is likely to form within the next day or so before upper-level winds become less conducive later this week.

Credit: WLTX

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