CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – Forecasts on Tropical Storm Fiona show continued uncertainty as computer models struggle to predict the path of the disorganized storm.
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As of 5 a.m. Friday, the center of the storm was near latitude 15.7 North, longitude 58.1 West, about 265 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands. Fiona is moving toward the west near 15 mph. Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph.
Meteorologist Joey Sovine said the storm’s latest position is further south than previously forecast.
“But right now, it looks like that forecast track continues to take it just to the south, most likely, of Puerto Rico over the weekend and the Virgin Islands, still bringing them some heavy, heavy rains and gusty winds,” Sovine said. “And then it starts to turn to the northwest as it approaches the Dominican Republic.”
He said the land interaction could cause weakening.
By Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, the storm should emerge from land.
“But it is something as we go into next week we’ll have to keep a close eye on,” he said.
The latest computer models into the second half of next week continue to show a large range of paths, with some pointing Fiona toward the Gulf of Mexico, others pointing it toward the southeastern U.S. and still others turning it further northeast toward the open Atlantic.
“Once again, we’ve had a lot of uncertainty just over the last 24 hours,” he said. “So if the forecast isn’t very good for the last 24 hours, it’s hard to imagine that it’s really good with where it’s going to be next Thursday.”
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