Hurricane Fiona strengthens into Cat. 4 storm, could affect NY beaches

Hurricane Fiona is gaining strength after hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  It has become a powerful Category 4 hurricane.  While Fiona is not expected to have a direct impact on land in the United States, New York beaches could still feel the effects of the storm.

Swells generated by Fiona will continue to spread westward across the Atlantic Ocean as the storm heads north.  The swells are expected to impact East Coast beaches through the midweek.

The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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On Long Island, a high risk of rip currents is likely to return late Wednesday night into Thursday as energetic swells from Hurricane Fiona work into the region, according to the National Weather Service.

High surf and dangerous rip currents are likely Thursday into Friday as the swells peak. Dangerous rip currents are likely to linger into Saturday.

Hurricane Fiona barreled toward the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, prompting the government to impose a curfew.

The intensifying storm was still dropping large amounts of rain over the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico on Tuesday.