National Hurricane Center: Fiona becomes a major Category 3 hurricane, can bring high rip currents to NC

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — Fiona is now a Category 3 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. This could bring rough seas and high rip currents to the North Carolina coast.

The eye of the hurricane made landfall along the Dominican Republic coast near Boca de Yuma at 3:30 a.m. local time as Category 1, but from the 2 a.m. update of the morning, it moved to category 3.

The center will move over the eastern portions of the Dominican Republic Tuesday morning and exit over the southwest Atlantic Tuesday afternoon. The center should pass near or east of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Although Fiona will have no direct impact on the Carolinas, it is possible that a weekend cold front will miss the slow system, leaving it to persist offshore over the weekend. This could lead to rough seas and possibly a high risk of rip currents at the weekend and over the weekend. However, the upcoming high should be strong enough to push this system away from land.

Elsewhere in the tropics, scattered showers and thunderstorms over the central subtropical Atlantic are associated with an ill-defined low pressure area. Slow development is possible over the next two days before conditions weaken later this week. The system is expected to generally track north or northeast while remaining over the open central subtropical Atlantic.

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