Hurricane Fiona threatens to hit Canada in historic fashion

L’hurricanehurricane Fiona continues to move north towards the Atlantic Canadian coasts at a speedspeed 40 km/h. The phenomenon gradually weakens as it encounters increasingly cold waters, even if these are still above the averages of seasonseason from +4 to +6 °C currently. This Friday morning, his windswinds still reached 201 km/h, dropping Fiona to category 3, after having reached category 4 out of 5 in recent days.

Fiona is now an extra-tropical hurricane as it left the warm waters of the West Indies to follow a northerly track. According to the NHC (National Hurricane Center), it is now 90% certain that Fiona will make landfall in Nova Scotia as a hurricane overnight from Friday to Saturday, and in the hours that follow. The phenomenon will probably happen with winds blowing between 150 and 170 km/h, i.e. in category 2. Eastern Quebec, as well as Maine in the United States, but also on Prince Edward Island, Saint -Pierre-et-Miquelon and Newfoundland will be impacted between Saturday and Sunday, but less intensely: in these states and provinces, the winds will be equivalent to those of a tropical storm. In all these areas, precipitationprecipitation will be torrential with 100 to 200 mm forecast over the weekend. Another aggravating character, Fiona will arrive at the time of the tidetide high, with a significant risk of coastal submersion.

Towards a possibly record-breaking hurricane in Canada

Canadians are expecting a historic storm, and possibly even ” never seen “, because Fiona will combine both “ the characteristics of a hurricane and a classic northeast storm “, according to the head of the service weather reportweather report of The Weather Network, Canada’s leading weather channel. Hurricane Fiona will indeed encounter another low pressurepressure which will divert it to the west, in the direction of Quebec, while maintaining a large part of its power. Fiona could therefore beat an absolute national record for low pressure: the phenomenon could increase to 930 hPa, while the Canadian record is 940.2 hectopascals (hPa).

It has been at least 20 years since Canada has faced such a situation. The last major hurricane to hit the Canadian coasts was Hurricane Juan in September 2003. It affected the same regions in category 2, with winds at 155 km/h in Nova Scotia and waveswaves 20 meters high near Halifax. Juan had devastated the coasts and cost 200 million dollars. More recently, Hurricane Dorian had followed a similar trajectory in September 2019: it had arrived in category 1 with winds of 140 km / h and waves of 15 meters on the coasts, but with a notable difference: low tide.

If the weather forecast is confirmed, Hurricane Fiona could arrive with an intensity that has never occurred before on Canadian coasts.

Fiona has become a Category 4 hurricane and is heading towards Canada

Article of Karine DurandKarine Durandpublished on September 21, 2022

After hitting Guadeloupe, then devastating Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hurricane Fiona continues its northward progression. The heatheat abnormal Atlantic Ocean will allow Fiona to maintain its power to Canada.

Last night, Fiona reached category 4 out of 5 with winds at 210 km/h: it is now a major hurricane, but also the most powerful of the year 2022. This Thursday evening, the hurricane will skirt the Bermuda archipelago, without directly reaching them.

Bermuda will still face torrential rains, strong waves and the risk of coastal submersion until Friday.

A potentially catastrophic impact on Canadian coasts

Hurricane Fiona will then continue its progression in the North Atlantic to the Canadian coasts: such a trajectory is not surprising, but most of the cyclonic phenomena lose their power by going up in the colder waters which border the Canada.

However, the water temperature is currently at an exceptionally high level: on average 2.4°C warmer than normal in this part of the ocean and up to 6°C warmer near Nova Scotia. ! This underwater heatwave will allow Fiona to retain much of her power. If the trajectory towards Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is confirmed, the hurricane could cause major damage on these coasts on Saturday.

Fiona could become the strongest hurricane of 2022

Article by Karine Durand, published on September 19, 2022

After causing catastrophic damage in Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico, hurricane Fiona continues its mad dash across the Atlantic as it strengthens: it could reach category 3 in the coming days and become a “major hurricane”.

Fiona is the sixth tropical system of the year to form in the North Atlantic and the third hurricane of 2022. On the other hand, it is the first of this inactive season to cause considerable damage on several lands. After an abnormally calm start to the hurricane season in August, the situation began to get turbulent in the North Atlantic in mid-September. This is generally the most active time for hurricane formation, with September 10 often marking the peak of activity.

Depression Fiona formed east of the Lesser Antilles on September 14 and very rapidly strengthened in tropical stormtropical storm just before reaching Guadeloupe. This sudden strengthening of the storm was perceived at the last moment by the weather forecast models, hence the establishment of a red alert for Meteo France over Guadeloupe just hours before impact.

As always, the greatest danger from tropical storms is not the winds, but the torrential rains they generate. The island of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe was hit hard by torrential rainfall in a very short time: 111 mm of rain fell in the space of an hour on La Désirade and 350 to more than 450 mm locally on Basse-Terre within 24 hours. In Saint-Claude and Capesterre-Belle-Eau, cumulus clouds exceeded 500 mm on Saturday evening, the equivalent of more than 2 months of rain. One person was washed away in Rivières des Pères.

Towards a major Category 3 hurricane

Fiona then reached hurricane status on Sunday September 18 when it landed on warm waters (over 30°C) around the US island of Puerto Rico. The island had already been devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and many neighborhoods have still not recovered from the disaster. Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a category 1 hurricane overnight from Sunday to Monday with winds at 140 km/h and floodsfloods catastrophic, creating a black out total.

All of the 3 million inhabitants were deprived of electricity. In the face of the extensive damage, US President Joe Biden declared an emergency summer.

While violent thunderstormsthunderstorms persisting over Puerto Rico today, Fiona continues to strengthen and is touching the east of the Dominican Republic on Monday. The hurricane could reach category 3 between Tuesday and Wednesday (with winds of 178 to 210 km / h), making it a “major hurricane” and the most powerful of 2022 so far. Category 4 is even considered by some weather models, with winds of 211 to 251 km/h. Its trajectory presents uncertainties over the next few days, but the British archipelago of Bermuda could be grazed by the hurricane in category 3 on Thursday. The Florida coasts, on the other hand, will not be directly affected, apart from a strong swellswell.

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