While it’s not uncommon for Atlantic hurricanes to sweep across Canada’s maritime provinces, it usually happens when hurricanes weaken significantly as they move into colder waters. But Fiona is expected to remain a “tornado with strong hurricane force,” according to the National Hurricane Center, as its outer bands began hitting the country late Friday and remained intense as it moves into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday.
Forecasts suggest that, by some measures, the strongest storm on record will hit Canada.
Bob Robichaud, meteorologist warning about Canada’s preparedness for Environment and Climate Change, said in a press conference Thursday.
Fiona’s likely impact on Canada is the latest sign of an Atlantic hurricane season that has remained calm during what is usually the center of the hurricane season, but has since resumed activity. The storm is one of five tropical systems that meteorologists are monitoring in the Atlantic basin, including one that has organized into a tropical depression early Friday and could soon become a tropical depression. threat to the Gulf Coast such as Tropical Storms H Regi or Ian.
As of Friday morning, Fiona was about 600 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, heading for the maritime provinces of Canada at 35 mph, with winds of up to 130 mph at its core. The storm’s conditions are expected to hit the country late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Weather models suggest that Fiona will likely be the strongest storm on record, in terms of barometric pressure, to ever make landfall in Canada. Fiona’s central pressure is forecast to be below 940 millibars, the existing record, when it makes landfall, likely around early Saturday morning.
Whether that translates to recording strong winds, says Robichaud, “remains to be seen”.
The storm warning is in effect for most of Nova Scotia as well as Prince Edward Island and western Newfoundland, where meteorologists are predicting 3 to 6 inches of rain, with some areas up to 10 inches and storm winds at least 74 mph. The tropical storm warning extends from New Brunswick to eastern Quebec to northern Newfoundland, where rainfall could reach 5 inches and winds of at least 39 mph.
Fiona is expected to lose its tropical properties and become a post-tropical cyclone on Friday, though that won’t lessen its possible impact. Although the core of the strong winds may weaken somewhat, the storm will expand in size, with tropical storm winds blowing over a large area.
Nova Scotia, home to about 1 million people, is bracing for its worst with the memories of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 still fresh in many people’s minds. That storm caused half a million blackouts, mostly in Nova Scotia, according to CBC. Its winds toppled trees, destroyed roofs, jetties, boats and toppled a crane in Halifax, causing an estimated C$102 million in damage.
Even when Fiona passed through Bermuda from a distance of about 185 miles, the island saw Massive blackout and gusts of at least 70 mph.
More than half of Puerto Rico remains without power and communities are still cut off by Thursday’s landslide, days after Fiona ravaged the island.
Nova Scotia Power has warned of widespread power outages, with trees still in full bloom and relatively soft soil. And power outages could be protracted, with crews expected to wait for the wind to calm down before they can safely begin repairs, said Dave Pickles, the company’s chief operating officer.
Flooding and wind damage are raising concerns about transportation problems across the province, with a single bridge connecting Cape Breton Island in the north and mainland Nova Scotia, including Halifax in the east. people, in the south.
“We have one entrance and one exit,” said Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional City. “That causeway is very, very important.”
Other landmark storms to make landfall in Canada in recent decades include Hurricane Juan in 2003 that killed eight and Hurricane Igor in 2010 which killed one and swept away roads and railways. in Newfoundland and isolated the community for days, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center.
The Atlantic provinces of Canada were formerly at the northern limit for Atlantic hurricanes, with hurricanes typically beginning to dissipate before making landfall. But that has changed in recent decades.
A powerful tropical storm or post-tropical storm has made landfall every one to three years since 1951, according to the country’s hurricane center. But since the Atlantic basin is still in the cycle of tropical cyclones, it also means more threats to Canada, with one hurricane making landfall every year since 2000. .