Nova Scotia·Weather

Hurricane Dorian will bring heavy rain and strong winds this weekend

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says Dorian may cause flash flooding in some areas and power outages in others.

Exact track and intensity of storm remains uncertain

A forecast model projection for Hurricane Dorian as it tracks into the Maritimes on Saturday afternoon. The exact track of the storm will be key to the forecast. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

After days of moving at a snail's pace, Hurricane Dorian is finally starting to pick up speed and will continue to accelerate to the north today and Friday, before tracking into the Maritimes on Saturday. 

While we're seeing some better consensus, there remains some uncertainty as to the exact track and timing of this storm, which is going to be key to the forecast.

The latest U.S. National Hurricane Center's cone of uncertainty continues to move across the southern Maritimes, including Nova Scotia and P.E.I., with Dorian as a Category 1 or a hurricane-strength post-tropical storm.

However, when it comes to who will see what impacts from Dorian, a track within that cone just offshore of the Maritimes will paint a different picture than a track only 100 kilometres to the north. We will get an even better handle on that track later today and into Friday.

While we continue to hone in on that storm track, we are getting a clearer idea of what Dorian will be bringing with it. Heavy rainfall, very strong winds and pounding surf could all impact parts of the region.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center cone of uncertainty, as of Thursday morning. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Rainfall

Near and to the left of Dorian's track, we will likely see a widespread area with rainfall amounts in the 50-to-100-millimetre range, with more than 100 millimetres likely in some localized areas. Most of this rain will fall in just a 12-hour period late Saturday and into early Sunday, and will bring a high risk for localized flash flooding and washouts for some.

Wind

The strongest winds will be found near and to the right of the track. Based on the most likely track at the moment, the strongest winds will hopefully remain mostly offshore. However, given the expected strength of Dorian, tropical storm force winds (sustained at 63 km/h or more) are looking likely for many eastern areas.

The National Hurricane Center's projected wind speed probabilities for this weekend. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC )

The National Hurricane Center has produced a forecast based on wind speed probabilities. As you can see above, with the current projected track, much of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are looking at a good chance of tropical storm force winds for a period of time Saturday into Sunday. Gusts in these areas could top 80-100+ km/h, bringing a higher risk of power outages.

Waves

Dorian will bring some pounding surf to the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia on Saturday and into Sunday. Wave heights of 10 to 12 metres look possible off eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton on Saturday night. A storm surge is also possible for parts of the Maritimes, however the timing of the storm and the tides will have a big impact. Stay tuned.

Timing

This is going to be a Saturday storm for the Maritimes, however there's still some solid disagreement on the exact timing. Does the heavy rain and strong winds ramp up through Saturday afternoon, or hold until the evening? Just a six-hour difference will matter as folks attempt to prepare. I'll be watching this closely today and will keep you posted. Either way, it appears the storm will be departing quickly and most of Sunday will be a breezy, but bright day.



While we wait for the storm, now is the time to make sure you have an emergency kit ready to go. Little things like checking if your flashlights have batteries, remembering to top up your car with gas and filling up your propane tank will make a big difference if we're dealing with power outages on Sunday.

Be sure to stay tuned for the latest updates over the next few days as the storm approaches. 

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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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