Canada’s East Coast Anticipates Potential Impact of Hurricane Lee


The eastern shoreline of Canada is bracing for impact as meteorologists, merging multiple computer-generated forecasts, have drawn maps that forecast hurricane Lee potentially hammering into the Maritimes by the end of the coming week.

Residents of Canada’s East Coast have been disturbed by these images that indicate the storm’s possible northward route. Yet, Chris Fogarty, program manager at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, cautions that these long-range models, often displayed as layers of predicted tracks that resemble scattered pasta, hence the nickname ‘spaghetti models’, do not fully encapsulate every potential forecast.

Dissecting the implications of these models, Fogarty asserts that beyond a five-day outlook, these maps tend to become more complex, seem overly focused or fail to represent the full range of potential routes. Their usefulness reduces due to the unpredictable and chaotic nature of the atmospheric conditions the storm might encounter.

Citing a precedent, Fogarty refers to hurricane Franklin’s route from earlier in the month. Franklin too was predicted to set course towards Atlantic Canada, yet its actual journey led it out to sea, well away from Canadian coastlines. This stark deviation portrayed the inconsistency in model predictions, a ditch between the forecasted and actual tracks that frankly, is misleading.

Despite employing such models in its computer analysis, the Canadian Hurricane Centre refrains from displaying these on Environment Canada’s website or in their tweets to avoid causing confusion. Instead, the Centre generates its own five-day hurricane map, charting the predicted course of such storms.

Currently, Lee, after surging through the northeast Caribbean and ascending to a Category 5 storm, the first of this hurricane season, has lost some momentum and receded to a Category 4 hurricane. Yet, its sustained winds clocking at 250 kilometres per hour could still inflict severe damage, comparable to Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. These high-intensity hurricanes can generate winds over 209 kilometres per hour, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and vegetation.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a statement cautioning the power of hurricane Lee would sustain well into the next week as it made its way north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The tremors from Lee are expected to wash up against the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and Bermuda over the weekend. The advisory also warned of potentially dangerous surf and rip currents along most of the U.S. East Coast by Sunday.

Lee, the twelfth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, could potentially impact the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada and Bermuda by next week, but it is still too early to predict the magnitude of this impact.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic hurricane season observed another development, with the formation of Tropical storm Margot, now the thirteenth named storm. While Margot is expected to intensify into a hurricane over the weekend, predictions suggest it would remain at a safe distance from Canada and the United States.


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