Atlantic meteorologists keeping watch as Hurricane Fiona heads north
Forecast track still uncertain, CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland stresses
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.
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."
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