Fishy Fiona Starting to Fade?

Latest Forecast Calls for Storm to Weaken to Depression Later Saturday

Over the past several days, the Atlantic Tropics have begun to show signs of picking up again after being dormant for much of the past two months. After starting the season with four named storms by June 30th, the Atlantic has only had one storm, Hurricane Earl over the past seven weeks or so.

However, Fiona emerged earlier this week, and while the storm has been rather meek, its formation is a sign that the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is upon us. Forming well out in the Eastern Atlantic, Fiona first emerged as a depression later Tuesday night, and became the sixth named storm of 2016 on Wednesday afternoon.

Fortunately for residents of the Lesser Antilles as well as Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba, Fiona is steering clear of the islands, and appears to be a storm for the fishes. The latest forecast track has Fiona turning more to the northwest and in the area of Bermuda at the end of the five day period.

In addition, Fiona has been a minimal storm with only 40 to 45 mph winds, and hasn’t been doing much strengthening. Environmental conditions have not been favorable for Fiona to develop much further over the past several days. Currently, Fiona has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph and a minimum central pressure of 1008 millibars or 29.77 inches of Hg.

Fiona’s circulation has been ragged and less healthy over the past 6 to 12 hours or so. The storm has been battling hostile conditions from the environment around it including strong wind shear, upper level convergence, and dry air according to the most recent forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center at 5:00 AM EDT on Saturday morning.

As a result, the National Hurricane Center believes that Fiona will weaken to a depression later in the day on Saturday and perhaps become a remnant low within 48 hours. Fiona should completely dissipate within five days. However, more storms could be on the horizontal with Invest 99L in the Eastern Atlantic, and another wave expected to move off the Afircan coast later on Saturday.