Wednesday, August 18th 2021, 9:56 pm - Hurricane Grace is on track to hit Mexico on Thursday. Tropical Storm Henri gathered strength near Bermuda, and it’s following a track we’ll have to watch closely for next week.
Grace became only the second hurricane of the season as it plodded toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday, likely making landfall this weekend. Meanwhile, long-gone Fred's moisture will still have some influence on Ontario and Quebec Thursday, while in the Atlantic, Henri looks set to become a hurricane soon, with uncertain impact on the East Coast. More on what to expect from the tropics through this weekend, below.
FRED’S MOISTURE INFLUENCING EASTERN CANADA
The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred continued to inch through the southeastern United States on Wednesday, two days after making landfall in Florida and a day after producing widespread flash flooding and tornadoes across the Carolinas.
Fred’s remnant moisture will hang around parts of Ontario and Quebec into Thursday. The surplus of moisture aloft could spark another round of showers and thunderstorms across the two provinces.
GRACE SET TO HIT MEXICO AS A HURRICANE
Grace strengthened into a category one hurricane as it churned in the western Caribbean Sea. By the evening, the storm boasted winds of 130 km/h.
The storm brought heavy rains to Haiti just days after a destructive 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Port-au-Prince. The storm’s flash flooding and mudslides complicated rescue and relief efforts for communities devastated by this weekend’s quake.
Grace took advantage of warm waters and favourable atmospheric conditions to grow into this year’s second hurricane as it neared Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center expects Grace to bring a period of dangerous conditions to the Yucatan as it makes landfall on Thursday morning.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for a stretch of coast that includes Cancun and Cozumel as the storm approaches the region.
Alongside the potential for wind damage, Grace could produce 100-200 mm of rain across the region, which could lead to flash flooding in vulnerable areas. Coastal communities could also experience storm surge flooding of 1-1.5 m above ground level if the storm makes landfall during high tide.
The storm will continue into the Gulf of Mexico after it passes over the Yucatan, where it could restrengthen before it makes landfall on Mexico’s east coast near Tampico this weekend.
HENRI COULD BECOME A HURRICANE NEAR BERMUDA THIS WEEKEND
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Henri continued to meander well southwest of Bermuda Wednesday, with the NHC dropping a tropical storm watch for the island.
Forecasters expect Henri to curve toward the north this weekend as it gets caught up in the winds circulating around a centre of high pressure over the western Atlantic. The system has strengthened, with winds of 110 km/h Wednesday night, not far off from Category 1 hurricane status, which it may achieve either Thursday or early Friday.
While it’s still too soon to determine what, if any, impacts Henri will have on Atlantic Canada, we’ll have to watch the storm closely as we head into next week.
Thumbnail courtesy of NOAA.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest throughout hurricane season.