Canadian Hurricane Centre is watching Gabrielle closely as it moves towards Atlantic Canada
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 8:59 AM -
Tropical Storm Gabrielle moved over Bermuda on Tuesday, hitting the island with powerful winds, heavy rain and rough surf.
Ferry services were suspended and several flights were cancelled as the wind and rain picked up.
The storm began to weaken as it moved away from Bermuda on Wednesday, and additional weakening is forecast over the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue through Wednesday morning, with an additional 25-75 mm of rain forecast.
Rough surf conditions will also continue to affect Bermuda throughout the day.
Gabrielle's impact on Atlantic Canada
Despite the weakening trend expected, forecasters at the Canadian Hurricane Centre are watching Gabrielle closely with direct or remnant effects expected in parts of Atlantic Canada on Friday.
The remnants of Gabrielle could interact with a stalled cold front, bringing that extra punch of moisture to some places.
“Similar to last year with Hurricane Leslie that was well offshore, there was a cold front that came through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in that case, and again we’re seeing that set up,” says Chris Fogarty with the Canadian Hurricane Centre. “That cold front that comes in through New Brunswick on Friday will cause more of a northerly track to the storm, so it’s quite possible that it will come close to Cape Breton.”
Fogarty adds that it's still too early to predict wind speeds and exact rainfall amounts, but based on the current track, heavy rain could be an issue over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
"Newfoundland is currently expected to be on the 'warmer' and 'windier' side of the track, but this predicted picture could easily shift," the CHC says in their statement.
It's a wake-up call in a hurricane season that's seen much less activity than anticipated.
“Most of the ingredients for hurricane development were there, but one of the key ingredients was the absence of cloud cover in the deep tropics because of dry air coming from Africa that we didn't anticipate before the season,” adds Fogarty.
Officials say it's important to stay prepared and keep your guard up as there's still plenty of time left in the Atlantic hurricane season.
Humberto strengthened to a hurricane far out in the Atlantic early Wednesday, becoming the first hurricane of the Atlantic season.
In September, 2001, the remnants of Hurricane Gabrielle passed southeast of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. Although it had weakened to a post-tropical storm, it still brought hurricane force wind gusts and dumped flooding rains on parts of the province. In St. John's, 99.4 mm of rain on the 19th broke the September record. The six hour rainfall record was also broken at one station in St. John's West. A state of an emergency was declared.