Over a foot of rain has fallen over much of Puerto Rico in the past three days. One station north of Ponce reported more than 2 feet of rain in the past 24 hours.
That’s an amazing number. Sometimes, as a meteorologist, you wonder, is this really going to happen? You don’t want to cry wolf.
But on Friday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center began warning of a possible foot of rain in Puerto Rico. For Saturday, they raised the rain forecast after seeing how much precipitation the storm dumped in Guadeloupe (more than 19 inches in 24 hours), giving them the most advanced warning possible.
As the storm moves off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on Monday, flooding will continue into Puerto Rico as the storm’s southerly flow draws moisture across the island.
Southern Puerto Rico can expect an additional 4 to 6 inches, with up to 10 inches in some places. This would result in a storm of 12 to 20 inches of rain, with local maximums of 30 inches in parts of the island.
Fiona’s center will slowly move off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today. As it moves over open water, it is expected to strengthen as it passes Turks and Caicos.
On Wednesday, it is expected to become the first major hurricane of the season in the Atlantic.
After that day, it is expected to turn northeast and move out to sea, threatening Bermuda later this week.
Landing in Bermuda isn’t out of the question, but it’s like hitting a small bull’s-eye in the open ocean.
I won’t feel too comfortable that the East Coast of the US is out of the woods until Fiona turns around and heads northeast in a couple of days.
However, forecast models seem to strongly agree that this spin will happen, leaving large surf and currents as potential hazards to the US East Coast.
The worst storm surge since the early 1970s
The remnants of a typhoon lashed the west coast of Alaska all weekend. Although it is weakening, it was still hanging on early Monday.
The storm was so strong that winds of 93 mph were reported in Alaska. The storm surge pushed water levels over 10 meters in Nome, Alaska, the highest since a November 1974 storm.
And water levels slowed as the storm refused to go away, forcing Alaska’s regional weather service office to compare itself to an unwanted relative.
By Wednesday, the storm will have weakened enough to no longer be the dominant weather pattern across the state.
Then all attention will turn to the follow-up of the storm that is hitting Japan.
Powerful Nanmadol made landfall in Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday, becoming the fourth strongest typhoon (by pressure) to hit mainland Japan.
Before the storm, Kyushu authorities took the unusual step of issuing a rarely used “special warning” to indicate the severity of the threat posed by the storm.
A “large-scale disaster” could also be imminent, with major floods and landslides, the Japan Meteorological Agency warned. “The highest level of vigilance is required for rising water levels and river flooding, landslide disasters and land flooding,” he said on Sunday.
The storm has made a turn to the northeast, moving up the west coast of Japan before crossing the country and returning to the western Pacific.
The storm has weakened, but extreme rain, mudslides and storm surges will continue across the country.
From Japan, it will travel across the Pacific and arrive on the doorstep of Alaska within a week.
“While this storm is expected to turn north over the southern Bering Sea, it will weaken significantly and become nothing out of the ordinary,” the Alaska weather service tweeted Saturday. “It is not anticipated that it will move into the Northern Bering Sea.”
So the state can provide some relief.