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Forecasters fear Fiona shows traits of Hurricane Juan and Dorian

Thursday, September 22nd 2022, 10:29 am - Fiona will be an historic storm in Atlantic Canada.

Canadians on the East Coast are on high alert as they brace for the impacts of Hurricane Fiona. Forecasters fear it could be worse than Dorian -- the costliest storm on record for the area.

HURRICANE FIONA: Historic storm on the way to Atlantic Canada

On September 7, 2019 Dorian crossed over all three Maritime provinces, bringing widespread heavy rain, dangerous surf, and wind speeds over 140 km/h. At one point, half a million customers were left without power, with some still in the dark for over a week's time. Storm surge destroyed wharfs and damaged boats and thousands of trees were toppled.

With Dorian, damage was estimated at $102 million dollars, but it’s important to note that it hit at low tide. Fiona is forecast to make landfall at high tide, which is why it may have the dubious distinction of topping Dorian’s destructive path.

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"Fiona will be an historic storm in Atlantic Canada, with locally over 200 mm of rainfall forecast. But almost more noteworthy will be the wind speeds and the pressure, likely below 940 millibars, which would make this a Canadian record," says Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "With strong pressure like that, wind gusts will be in excess of 140 km/h."

As a result, Fiona may rival the impacts left from Dorian just three years ago.

While forecasters don't anticipate Fiona to quite reach the severity of Hurricane Juan -- a once in a lifetime type of storm -- it could be comparable in terms of intensity.

MUST SEE: Hurricane Juan brought Halifax Harbour its highest surge on record — up to 2 metres

"Everyone goes through a storm and has their version of that storm and what it did, and every storm is different...But here's my take on it; This storm is the intensity of Juan, with the overall breadth and size of Dorian," says Chris Scott, Chief Meteorologist at The Weather Network. "For anywhere on P.E.I., this is going to be a storm for the ages."

MUST LISTEN: Meteorologists carefully track the timing and impacts of Fiona. What you need to know:

Hurricane Juan was a Category 2 hurricane that impacted Eastern Canada in September 2003. The storm started as a large tropical wave off the coast of Africa on Sept. 14, 2003 and by September 27, reached its peak intensity of 165 km/h while located near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) was hit particularly hard, receiving extensive damage to trees and power lines. Approximately 31 per cent of residential homes suffered damage.

Residents across the region are being urged to use this time to prepare for Hurricane Fiona. Making sure an emergency kit is ready, clearing downspouts and storm drains and having generators in working order, are all important factors to take into account.

Be sure to check back for the latest up-to-date coverage on Hurricane Fiona as it moves into Atlantic Canada.

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