Atlantic meteorologists keeping watch as Hurricane Fiona heads north

The Atlantic provinces could be hit hard this weekend by Fiona, a Category 3 hurricane that has caused great damage in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Forecast track still uncertain, CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland stresses

Tropical cyclone statement in effect for Atlantic Canada as Hurricane Fiona moves closer

4 months ago
Duration 5:32
CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said the region will likely experience strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge. He said the severity of the storm surge will depend on the track and timing of the storm. Watch his forecast from Tuesday evening.

The Atlantic provinces could be hit hard this weekend by Fiona, which is currently a Category 3 hurricane.

While it's too early to tell how severe the storm will be when it gets here, CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said now is the time to start preparing.

"It is still far too early to forecast potential rainfall, surge height or peak winds," he said. "These impacts will be heavily track dependent.

"That being said, with this storm potentially arriving as a hurricane, [Prince Edward] Islanders should be prepared for a prolonged period of heavy rain and tropical storm force winds."

Scotland suggests securing loose objects, clearing downspouts and stocking essential items.

As it stands, the hurricane's eye is due to enter Canadian waters early Saturday morning AT, and pass by the eastern tip of Cape Breton around midday. 

Map of Atlantic Canada showing expected path of Hurricane Fiona.
Fiona could arrive in Atlantic Canada early Saturday morning, but it's too soon to say where the eye will hit and how strong the storm will be by then. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

The U.S.-based National Hurricane Center shows a fairly high probability of the Maritimes experiencing tropical storm force sustained winds of 63 km/h or higher, "and this does not take into account potentially stronger gusts," Scotland said.

"With trees still in full leaf, [we] should also be prepared for power outages. Finally, both coastal and inland flooding is possible due to heavy rain, elevated water levels and pounding surf."

Map showing western PEI expecting lower wind speeds than eastern PEI
This graphic shows the level of wind that various parts of Prince Edward Island could experience. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

The powerful hurricane has already caused widespread damage in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

The National Hurricane Center expects Fiona to skirt Bermuda on Thursday afternoon before moving into Canadian waters on Friday.

The centre's 6 pm AT forecast on Tuesday noted that the storm was over portions of Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas, and warned: "Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days."

With files from Kevin Yarr


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