Hurricane Fiona grew to a Category 3 storm on Tuesday after pummeling Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. As the storm neared the Turks and Caicos early Tuesday morning, winds reached approximately 115 mph, reports The New York Times. The storm will also likely bring heavy rainfall to some of the northernmost Caribbean islands, including the Bahamas and both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, which could cause dangerous flooding, The Wall Street Journal reports. Experts predict that Fiona could potentially become a Category 4 storm in the next three days.
Hurricane Fiona has already caused major damage in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Approximately 60 percent of Puerto Rico is without water and 1.2 million people are without power as of Tuesday morning, reports the Journal. There is now at least one confirmed death in the Dominican Republic due to the storm and the country is currently in a state of emergency.
The storm is the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season, which runs from June to November. While the beginning of the season started slowly, it became more severe with the formation of Hurricane Danielle and Hurricane Earl in August. Research has shown that climate change has made hurricanes both stronger and wetter, a pattern that will likely continue into the future.