Tropical Storm Fiona approaches Puerto Rico: Latest forecast

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Tropical Storm Fiona is taking aim on the Caribbean and is set to bring heavy rain and possible flash flooding and mudslides to Puerto Rico.

National Hurricane Center is calling for up to 1 foot of rain in Puerto Rico this weekend. Widespread power outages are possible across the island.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

PHOTO: A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Fiona building to the east of Puerto Rico, Sept. 16, 2022. Warnings are in effect for the northern Leeward Islands with Tropical Storm Warnings in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. (NOAA)
PHOTO: A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Fiona building to the east of Puerto Rico, Sept. 16, 2022. Warnings are in effect for the northern Leeward Islands with Tropical Storm Warnings in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. (NOAA)

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Fiona is expected to strengthen slightly and could be a strong tropical storm as it moves just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday night with winds of 65 mph. (A category 1 hurricane begins at 74 mph).

As Fiona approaches the Dominican Republic on Sunday, it could be close to hurricane strength with winds near 70 mph.

Up to 16 inches of rain and flash flooding is forecast for the Dominican Republic late this weekend and into early next week.

PHOTO: The probable path of tropical storm Fiona is shown in a graphic from NOAA, on Sept. 16, 2022.  (NOAA)
PHOTO: The probable path of tropical storm Fiona is shown in a graphic from NOAA, on Sept. 16, 2022. (NOAA)

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Up to 15 inches of rain could hit the island of Hispaniola and flash flooding and mudslides are possible.

If Fiona survives the tall mountains of Hispaniola, it will reemerge in the Atlantic Ocean and could strengthen even further to a Category 1 hurricane near Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

It is too early to tell if Fiona will have any impact on the mainland United States.

Tropical Storm Fiona approaches Puerto Rico: Latest forecast originally appeared on abcnews.go.com