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Atmospheric river will bring heavy rain to parts of Atlantic Canada next week

Saturday, November 20th 2021, 7:43 am - An atmospheric river will bring heavy rainfall and howling winds to the Maritimes next week, which has the potential to result in flooding.

While the weather will be fairly quiet across Atlantic Canada on Sunday, forecasters are keeping a close eye on an atmospheric river that is seeping in. Potent low pressure systems will bring a risk of flooding with soaking rains and intense winds during early next week. Details and timing, below.


A series of low-pressure systems will develop off the U.S. East Coast next week and track towards the Maritimes. A strong blocking pattern over the Atlantic will prevent that setup from moving out to sea and will instead direct it over the Atlantic provinces, creating an atmospheric river of tropical moisture.


As a result, much of the Maritimes will be facing a tremendous amount of Gulf and subtropical moisture by Monday as several systems move across the region. Localized flooding is the main concern along with strong winds early to mid-next week.

"This will result in several days of windy and mild weather with several rounds of rain, which will be heavy at times," The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham says.

The first will be an intensifying, slow-moving low-pressure system trekking into the Maritimes on Monday. This system will then stall and give an extended period of rain and intense winds. Forecast models are starting to come into agreement that the largest rainfall amounts will be from Halifax county to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia and in southeastern portions of New Brunswick.

Rainfall amounts associated with the multi-day event, Monday through Wednesday, will likely range between 50-75 mm. Isolated areas could see over 100 mm. The heaviest rain looks to occur Monday overnight into Tuesday.


Blustery, potentially damaging wind gusts up to 90 km/h are expected late Monday into Tuesday. For areas in eastern Nova Scotia, gusts may possibly reach more than 90 km/h, especially along the Atlantic coast.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement for all three Maritime provinces, warning the atmospheric river's effects could endure into Wednesday, and possibly beyond.

Pounding surf and higher than normal water levels are possible Tuesday and Wednesday.


Because of the expected bout of drenching rains and intense winds next week, planning ahead is the best way to mitigate flood risk. While some damages are unavoidable, taking an assessment ahead of time can make a huge difference.

Checking your insurance is certainly key, and there are a few things you can do around the home to prepare.

  • Sealing your basement to prevent water from seeping into creeks
  • Raising electrical system components as high as possible
  • Making sure your sump pumps are working properly
  • If a big storm is coming, consider stocking up on supplies, like: sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and shovels

Getty flooding rain roof (Getty Images)

As well, if you can, arrange to leave your car in a high-elevation area, and avoid driving in flooded areas at all costs.

For other safety tips, click here.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the unsettled pattern shaping up for Atlantic Canada.

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