New Brunswick·Weather

Elsa to bring rain, gusty winds to Maritimes on Friday night

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says Elsa will likely be a post-tropical storm by the time it hits the Maritimes, with New Brunswick getting the brunt of the wet weather.

New Brunswick likely to get heaviest rainfall, with 40 to 80 millimetres expected Friday

Elsa will transition from tropical to post-tropical storm as it tracks through the Maritimes on Friday night. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

After bringing heavy rain and strong winds to Florida and the southeastern United States, Elsa is now moving up the eastern seaboard and has set its sights on the Maritimes. 

The once hurricane-strength storm has weakened now that it has moved over land and will continue moving northward as a tropical storm.

As of Thursday afternoon, Elsa remains a tropical storm and is moving northward up the eastern seaboard. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Elsa will lose its tropical characteristics and transition from tropical to post-tropical as it tracks through the Maritimes on Friday night.

It's important to remember that the transition to post-tropical won't weaken the storm, only change the way it fuels itself.

Storm track will be key

With tropical and post-tropical storms, we find the heaviest rain near and to the left of the track and the strongest winds near and right of the track.

The National Hurricane Centre track for Elsa, as of Thursday afternoon. The cone of uncertainty tracks right through the Maritimes region. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

The National and Canadian Hurricane Centre's forecast tracks for Elsa remain somewhat uncertain, but that cone of uncertainty will continue to narrow as the storm approaches.

Storm impacts

Based on the latest track and guidance, we'll most likely see the heaviest rainfall across New Brunswick, where amounts of 40 to 80 millimetres are likely for Friday night. Downpours and thunderstorms may bring even higher totals locally. 

Coupled with the rain coming in ahead of Elsa on Friday, rainfall totals by Saturday may exceed 100 millimetres in some localized areas of New Brunswick.

A quick check on your downspouts and storm drains might be a good idea, because that much rain over a short period may lead to some localized flooding.

The heaviest rain and strongest winds are expected Friday night. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

My colleague, CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland, is watching for the heaviest rain potential over western areas of P.E.I., where amounts may exceed 30 to 50 millimetres through Saturday. He cautions that a slight southeast shift in the track would have an impact on the forecast for the island and could mean even higher rainfall totals. 

Nova Scotia will not see nearly as much rain. With the system moving on Friday, then Elsa on Friday night, then a followup weaker system on Saturday, we'll see widespread amounts ranging from 10 to 30 millimetres, with some higher amounts possible in downpours and thunderstorms.

People from Yarmouth through the Annapolis Valley to Colchester, Cumberland and the Northumberland Shore region will need to keep a close eye on the forecast, as a slight shift southward will bring those heavier rains into the mix.

Elsa is expected to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the Maritimes on Friday night. The exact track of the storm will be key, so be sure to stay tuned for updates. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick and P.E.I. are most likely to see some gusty winds as the storm blows through on Friday night.

Widespread southerly gusts of 50 to 70 km/h look most likely, with stronger gusts topping 90 km/h possible for coastal areas.

While widespread damage is not likely, the trees are in full leaf right now and some downed limbs and branches could certainly lead to some localized power outages.

Thankfully, because of the track, strength and speed of Elsa, storm surge will not be an issue this time around. However, waves of two to three metres will bring some pounding surf to the Atlantic coastline late Friday and into Saturday.

Be sure to stay tuned for updates on this storm into Friday.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Snoddon

Weather

Ryan Snoddon is CBC's meteorologist in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

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