Category 3 Hurricane Lee is now churning in the Atlantic with a velocity of 195 km/h around its eye, and is moving northwest around 13 km/h. Its trajectory is curving around the southern edge of an eastern high-pressure system.
According to predictions from the National Hurricane Center spanning over five days, the storm does not yet threaten the land regions of Atlantic Canada. Nonetheless, it might impact the southern marine districts of Georges Bank and West Scotian Slope. The storm’s intensity at that point, by Saturday, is expected to have dwindled to a Category 1 hurricane, boasting maximum sustained winds of around 130 km/h. If the storm’s northward expansion proceeds over the next 24 hours as projected, it could start to encroach on Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The predicting cone, the region through which the storm’s core is expected to pass, has historically proven to be approximately 70% accurate. However, it doesn’t necessarily encompass all areas that might experience the hurricane’s effect. This cone grows considerably the further forward in time it evaluates due to increased uncertainty in the weather forecast.
There is still a shroud of uncertainty regarding the exact timing of Lee. However, forecasts hint at a potential threat to the Maritimes over the upcoming weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday could witness tumultuous conditions, with extreme weather starting to make the mark even before the storm’s center arrives and possibly lingering for a while. At this point, it’s still too early to predict the exact path Lee will carve through the Maritimes, and the specific weather impacts and their severity swings on this. Clarification on these details is likely to surface within the week, especially around three days prior to the storm’s possible approach, which is pegged at Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
The high-pressure system east of Lee could risk prolonging the storm’s turn eastward, thus increasing the likelihood of it drifting into Atlantic Canada. One key feature to note about these weather systems is their sizeable increase as they move northward. As a result, the rain and wind become more dispersed from the center of the storm but cover a broader area.
From past encounters with tropical storms and hurricanes in the Maritimes, the most prominent impact could be potential power outages. The blackout risk shoots up during this season due to the leafy trees that amplify the impact of high winds. Moreover, localized effects such as coastal surge and excessive rainfall could also pose a threat should the storm score a direct hit.
This would be an opportune time to revisit and reinforce general household storm/emergency plans. Ensure essential household equipment like sump pumps and generators are in good working condition. Remain abreast of the storm’s status and local forecasts throughout the week, taking necessary precautions to mitigate any possible impacts.