Expect more extreme rainfall events, says hurricane centre meteorologist

A meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre says he thinks Atlantic Canadians will see more extreme rainfall events in the future.

Data shows future storms will be more intense

Meteorologist Bob Robichaud says the 2017 hurricane season is predicted to have the above average number of named storms as the 2016 season did. In this picture, people walk on the road as rain falls during Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Oct. 4, 2016. (Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters)

A meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre says he thinks Atlantic Canadians will see more extreme rainfall events in the future.

Bob Robichaud says after extreme rainfall events occurring two years in a row, with over 200 millimetres of rain falling in a short period of time, it may be what the Atlantic provinces will experience more. 

"We don't have to have the storm come over us to feel the impacts of it." 

Robichaud was in P.E.I. to update the Island's Emergency Measures Organization about the 2017 hurricane season and provide information on what is expected to allow for preparation. 

There are 11 to 17 named storms predicted to hit the Atlantic coast during the 2017 hurricane season. "The average is about 12 so we're looking at another fairly active hurricane season this year." 

Repeat of last year

Robichaud said it will be a repeat of 2016 which was also a very active season. 

Meteorologist Bob Robichaud says the Atlantic provinces will see more extreme rainfall events. (CBC)
"Last year we had 15 named storms — and again, the average is 12 — it was a little bit above average."

Robichaud said while the prediction is for an above average season, with it being so early in the season, it's hard to know where the storms will go. 

"We have an idea of what the activity will be in the entire ocean basin but we can't say one particular area of the coastline will be affected more than the other."

Robichaud said they have to watch the storms as they develop to determine where they will go.

New trends

The hurricane centre is also noting some new trends of storms that are occurring outside the official hurricane season which is June 1 to the end of October.

Robichaud said there is not enough hard data to link these changes to climate change and to say the season is extending. 

"But the data that is showing there we may not be necessarily be getting more storms in the future but the storms we do get may end up being slightly more intense." 

With files from Compass