Environment Canada says Hurricane Fiona is continuing northward and is expected to impact Nova Scotia late Friday and Saturday morning.
Fiona is currently located just over 2,000 kilometres south-southwest of Sable Island, sustaining winds of 213 kilometres per hour.
The Category 4 hurricane is currently moving north-northeast at 24 kilometres per hour.
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It’s expected that on Thursday, the hurricane will turn northeast and then accelerate.
“This storm is shaping up to be a severe event for Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec,” read a 9 a.m. update from Environment Canada.
“Most regions will experience some hurricane force winds.”
Fiona is expected to to turn to the northeast and then accelerate, reaching Sable Island on Friday night as it transitions to a post-tropical storm.
It is then forecasted to make landfall over eastern mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island on Saturday morning. The hurricane will reach lower Quebec north shore and southeastern Labrador early Sunday.
There is a misconception that the eye of a hurricane is a safe place to be, but don't be fooled. Though conditions in the eye are calm, this is short lived and is followed by a rapid increase in wind speeds with the passage of the eye. #Hurricane #Fiona pic.twitter.com/SXZwkJnwIA
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Fiona is expected to bring widespread rainfall, between 100 to 200 millimetres, though it could be higher in areas closer to the hurricane’s path.
“Severe winds and rainfall will have major impacts for eastern Prince Edward Island, eastern Nova Scotia, western Newfoundland, eastern Quebec, and southeastern Labrador,” the weather agency said.
Winds are expected to impact the region late Friday and continue on Saturday.
“Similar cyclones of this nature have produced structural damage to buildings,” according to Environment Canada.
Large waves are also expected for coastal areas. In eastern Nova Scotia waves could exceed 10 metres on Friday night, and similar waves will likely reach Newfoundland by Saturday morning. Eastern portions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence could see waves higher than 12 metres.
Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians are being urged to get ready as the province awaits the arrival of Fiona.
Update from Canadian Hurricane Centre
Bob Robichaud, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre said in a Thursday afternoon briefing this will be an “extremely strong and dangerous storm for Eastern Canada.”
He reiterated Environment Canada’s report, saying stronger winds will begin moving into the region late Friday, while Saturday morning is forecast to some “extreme winds.”
Though Fiona will be a post-tropical storm by the time it reaches Atlantic Canada, Robichaud said that does not mean a weaker storm, but it will have tropical and post-tropical characteristics.
The magnitude of the storm surge, he said, is very sensitive to the track of the hurricane. It’s something the Canadian Hurricane Centre is keeping an eye on and will have more details closer to impact.
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Robichaud said Nova Scotians should be prepared for severe weather conditions. Current forecasts show wind speeds that have in previous storms caused power outages and damage to structures.
“It’s always a very tricky thing to try to compare storms,” Robichaud said, adding it depends on the intensity of the storm.
Fiona will be “a very large storm,” according to the forecast.
“It’s going to cover a really wide area, similar to what Dorian did,” he said.
“This storm is going to be bigger in size than Juan was, and a little bit stronger than Dorian was.”
He said residents should be ready to be without power, “for potentially an extended period of time.”
The most important thing, he said, is to stay up to speed on the forecast. “It is going to be a very serious storm.”
With files from Alex Cooke.