Hurricane-force winds off Newfoundland coast
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 11:18 AM -
As a powerful storm passes through Atlantic Canada, its effects on Newfoundland are being felt in a big way - to the tune of hurricane force winds being detected off the province's southeastern coast.
A gust of 170 km/h was detected at Wreckhouse, not far from Port-aux-Basques, which is the equivalent of a Category 2 storm, even though this storm is NOT a tropical storm by any measure.
Wreckhouse is, in fact, one of the continuously windiest places in all of Canada, and while that stiff gust is higher than usual for the site, it is a barometer for the rest of the province, which is being lashed by the storm's winds such that several communities are experiencing winds of more than 100 km/h.
The storm was doing its worst in the Maritimes Saturday night into Sunday morning.
A similarly strong gust of 144 km/h was recorded at Grand Etaing - itself subject to the powerful "Les Suetes" winds, while gusts across the Maritimes were strong also, reaching almost 100 km/h in Halifax.
The storm is the second to pass through the region, dumping dozens of centimetres of snow, after a Friday tempest that dropped more than 25 cm.
The white-out conditions that have resulted are behind a nine-car pile-up near the Confederation Bridge on Prince Edward Island. Authorities in all four Atlantic Provinces are warning people to stay off the roads.
By the time Sunday's snowfall reaches Newfoundland in full force, amounts will be heaviest in the Northern Peninsula and southeast, and lightest in the Avalon, but those very strong winds will create severe blowing snow.
"In Newfoundland, freezing rain will impact the Avalon with heavy snow through the rest of the province," said Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist with The Weather Network.
"All moisture changes to snow across Atlantic Canada by this evening with blowing snow still being a major factor," Vaswani adds.
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued coverage on this system.