Nfld. & Labrador

Leslie on track to lash Newfoundland Tuesday

Tropical storm Leslie is expected to douse central and western parts of the island with heavy rain and bring hurricane-strength winds to eastern regions.

Rain expected to be heavy in western and central areas; winds high in eastern region

This NOAA satellite image taken Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10:45 a.m. EDT shows tropical storm Leslie as it slowly moves northward in the west-central Atlantic. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

Tropical storm Leslie is on track to make landfall in Newfoundland Tuesday, dousing central and western parts of the island with heavy rain and bringing hurricane-strength winds to eastern regions.

"This is an ever-changing story and the track will be very key as to who sees what," CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said Sunday afternoon.

The affected locations will be better known over the next 24 hours, he noted.

"Current forecast models have Leslie crossing eastern sections of Newfoundland on Tuesday as a post-tropical storm with Category 1 hurricane-strength winds," Snoddon said.

Rainfall totals in western parts of Newfoundland could hit the 100 to 150 millimetre range, and possibly more, in the coming days. Leslie is expected to combine forces with a trough of low pressure currently over the Maritimes.

In eastern Newfoundland, including the Avalon Peninsula, winds from the storm could top out at 100 km/h, with gusts up to 130 km/h, Snoddon said.

Snoddon is posting regular updates on his blog.

Difficult to predict

Chris Fogarty, manager of the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, said it's difficult to predict where in Newfoundland the storm will land because its circulation is about 800 kilometres in diameter.

"The centre of the storm is not the area of most concern," Fogarty told the Canadian Press in an interview. "It would actually be well outside that area because the storm is likely to be so large that the impact zone will be quite extensive."

Fogarty said Leslie was expected to reach hurricane status sometime Sunday or Monday, but he could not say if it will maintain that status for its arrival in Atlantic Canada.

"We basically want to brace Newfoundland for the potential for hurricane force winds," Fogarty said.

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, the centre said Leslie will have "direct and indirect impacts in Atlantic Canada."

At the time, Leslie was roughly 230 kilometres east of Bermuda.

Another hurricane, Category 2 Michael, is not expected to have any impact on Newfoundland or the Maritimes.

With files from the Canadian Press