Caribbean: Hurricane FIONA is a powerful category four hurricane with 130 mph winds and a minimum central pressure of 937 MB. It’s expected to track to the northeast, passing just to the west of Bermuda, and then impact Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as a post-tropical cyclone this weekend.
Fortunately, Bermuda should be spared the brunt of the storm, although tropical storm conditions are still likely. Unfortunately, Atlantic Canada will likely experience 90 mph+ wind gusts, flooding rains, and storm surges this weekend.
Fiona could end up being one of the region’s strongest storms ever recorded. Canada’s all-time low-pressure record is 940.2 MB. Many models are suggesting landfall in Canada with a pressure well below 940 MB (images 3-4), so Fiona could set a new record.
The bigger concern is the future Hermine. The MET office is monitoring a tropical wave near the Leeward Islands that is expected to track west into the Caribbean and strengthen into a tropical storm. Most of the major models suggest the storm intensifying further into a hurricane then turning north and crossing Cuba.
Afterwards, they suggest a major hurricane somewhere off the west coast of FL between Wednesday and Friday next week (images 5-7). Residents along the Gulf Coast need to keep a close eye on this.
Fiona moved through the Turks and Caicos today, leaving quite a bit of destruction as it moved through. Fiona has moved a little west of forecast, which is good news for Bermuda, who may only get a glancing blow, but bad news for coastal Canada. Models have trended towards Fiona making landfall in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland as an extremely powerful storm, potentially one of the strongest landfalls on record for this region.
Residents need to take this extremely serious and prepare for a powerful hurricane Fiona to make landfall. Elsewhere, tropical storm Gaston has formed in the North Atlantic and has wasted no time strengthening in near record warm water for that far north, and looks like it may become a hurricane tonight or tomorrow.
Gaston is fortunately no threat to land. Closer to home, invest 98L is now up to a 90% chance of development according to the NHC as it moves into the eastern Caribbean over the next few days (figure 3). The gfs and euro operational models plus their ensembles are in ominously strong agreement on a strengthening hurricane moving through the Caribbean and potentially turning north into the gulf next week (figures 4-7, and are labeled at the top of each picture).