Subtropical Storm Melissa strengthens, could impact Newfoundland this week
Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 8:23 -
A deep low pressure system that brought heavy snow to parts of northern Ontario is pushing towards Atlantic Canada.
"A cold front associated with this low will move into western Newfoundland early Tuesday," says Environment Canada in their statement.
As a result, winds are expected to gust near 140 km/h early Tuesday.
"Winds will ease behind the front by noon on Tuesday," EC adds.
Rain has already begun over western Newfoundland and is expected to persist through Tuesday.
Up to 70 mm of rain is forecast over the southwest coast as the frontal system becomes nearly stationary over the island through the middle part of the week.
Subtropical Storm Melissa to impact Newfoundland
Subtropical Storm Melissa developed over the central Atlantic on Monday and continued to slightly strengthen on Tuesday.
Additional strengthening is expected and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could transition to a tropical storm later in the day or overnight.
The center says large swells from the storm began affecting parts of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the southeastern Bahamas on Monday, adding that the swells can bring life-threatening surf and rip currents.
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"Melissa is expected to interact with this stationary low over Newfoundland, which could bring more heavy rain to the province later this week," says Matt Grinter, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
"Forecast guidance is indicating that Subtropical Storm Melissa currently southeast of Bermuda will pass well east of the Grand Banks later this week," adds Environment Canada in a special weather statement. "While there is uncertainty regarding exactly how these weather systems will interact, latest indications suggest that Melissa will likely help channel tropical moisture into the approaching front, which would aid the development of a secondary low pressure system during the second half of the week."
While the details are not clear yet, this complex interaction has the potential to generate heavy amounts of rain and strong winds over Newfoundland between Wednesday and Friday morning.
"In addition, the mild air mass currently in place will give way to cooler conditions as the week progresses which may result in accumulating snow over some areas," EC adds.