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CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a post-tropical cyclone on Friday night, but forecasters warned it could still bring hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and storm surges to Canada’s Atlantic region, and it has the potential to become one become the strongest storms in the country’s history.
Fiona, which was a Category 4 hurricane in the morning but was weakened to Category 2 by the evening, is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia early Saturday morning.
The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for large coastal areas in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. For its part, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Fiona was expected to reach the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.”
“This will definitely be one of the tropical cyclones – if not the strongest – to hit our part of the country,” said Ian Hubbard, meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It will definitely be as strong and serious as anything I’ve seen.”
The NHC reported that Fiona experienced maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (165 kilometers per hour) on Friday night. It was located approximately 140 miles (220 kilometers) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia and is moving north at 46 mph (74 km/h).
Its hurricane winds extend up to 295 kilometers (185 miles) from the gyre, and tropical storm winds reach up to 555 kilometers (345 miles).
Meanwhile, the NHC said newly formed Caribbean Tropical Storm Ian is expected to continue gaining strength and hit Cuba as a hurricane early Tuesday and then hit South Florida early Wednesday.
It was about 625 kilometers (385 miles) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, as of Friday night. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h) and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 km/h). A hurricane warning has been issued for the Cayman Islands.