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Fiona still a major hurricane as it heads for eastern Canadian coastline

Hurricane Fiona is seen in the Atlantic Ocean at right on Friday. The storm is a major hurricane and is forecast to make landfall in Nova Scotia in Canada on Saturday. Image courtesy of NOAA/NHC
Hurricane Fiona is seen in the Atlantic Ocean at right on Friday. The storm is a major hurricane and is forecast to make landfall in Nova Scotia in Canada on Saturday. Image courtesy of NOAA/NHC

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Hurricane Fiona has weakened a bit in the open Atlantic Ocean, but is still a major hurricane bearing down on the Canadian coast this weekend.

In its 8 a.m. EDT Friday update, the National Hurricane Center said Fiona was 125 miles north of Bermuda and 730 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada. It had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and was moving northeast at 25 mph.

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Fiona turned into a major hurricane -- Category 3 or higher -- earlier this week and was a Category 4 storm for much of Wednesday and Thursday. It is expected to make landfall on the Canadian coast on Saturday.

"On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will pass to the northwest of Bermuda during the next few hours," the NHC said Friday morning. "Fiona's center will then approach Nova Scotia later today, move across Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday, and then across Labrador and over the Labrador Sea on Sunday."

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Fiona brought severe weather conditions to many locations in the Caribbean earlier this week, most notably Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. More than a million people in Puerto Rico lost power and at least two people died as the result of the storm in the Dominican Republic.

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The storm is not projected to make landfall in the United States, but forecasters say it's possible the Northeast will experience some milder conditions from Fiona.

Fiona is the sixth named system of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season after Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle and Earl. Fiona was followed by Gaston, which became a hurricane in the open Atlantic but threatened no land. Another system off South America in the Caribbean could become Tropical Storm Hermine.

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Forecasters said this week that the system off South America could eventually become a hurricane and could make landfall somewhere in the southeastern United States.

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