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Tropical Storm Fiona likely to develop this week

Fiona.JPG
National Hurricane Center

Residents and visitors along the East Coast are being advised to monitor a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean that is expected to grow into a tropical storm.

Moving west at 14 mph, Tropical Depression Seven is forecast to reach tropical storm strength by Thursday, but it does not pose an immediate threat to Northeast Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm is expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Friday and to be near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the weekend. If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Fiona.

While the storm has a 70% chance of forming into a named system, models aren’t set on how strong it could become.

“Moderate westerly shear and a dry mid-level atmosphere are expected to prevent significant intensification, but some modest strengthening is possible over the next day or two,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Models indicate the system could “struggle to maintain its closed circulation” after entering the eastern Caribbean and that it could weaken as it interacts with Hispaniola.