Although Hurricane Fiona is expected to bypass the Outer Banks and stay out to sea, long-period swell from the strengthening hurricane will create dangerous rip currents later this week for all eastern North Carolina beaches, the National Weather Service reports.

Fiona is moving across far eastern Hispaniola and is forecast to turn north into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean later today (Sept. 19) or tonight. While continuing to move north, it is expected to turn northeast out to sea mid- to late week as a strong cold front moves off the East Coast. 

A moderate risk of rip currents is in effect for all Outer Banks beaches today. A moderate risk means that only experienced swimmers who know how to escape a rip current should enter the surf. Click here and here for detailed rip current information.

As of 8 a.m. today, Fiona was located 35 miles southeast of the Dominican Republic, and the storm was moving towards the northwest at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts.

Some strengthening is expected during the next few days after the hurricane emerges over the southwestern Atlantic. Fiona is forecast to become a major hurricane by Wednesday.

For more information on the local forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for general weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.

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