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Recalling when Nova Scotia and PEI were hit by Hurricane Juan and 'White Juan'

Thursday, February 18th 2021, 5:31 am - Yarmouth, Nova Scotia received 101 cm of snow.

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In Canada, winter storms aren't assigned official names. Maybe The Weather Network should start a naming convention. Until then, winter storms get their names in all sorts of ways. This is how White Juan was named.

On Monday, Sep. 29, 2003, Hurricane Juan hit Nova Scotia as a Category 2. Juan's sustained wind speeds reached 165 km/h. The storm also passed over PEI as a Category 1 storm.

The wind caused extreme damage to both affected provinces. A total of eight people died due to the hurricane. The cost of damages amounted to $300 million.

It's described as Halifax's worst storm since 1893. Because of the immense amount of damage caused to Nova Scotia and PEI, the name Juan was retired and won't be used again for any Atlantic hurricanes.

The storm occurred at the end of September but the impacts were still very fresh well into October.

From Tuesday, Feb. 17, to Friday, Feb. 20, 2004, a hurricane-strength winter storm hit Atlantic Canada, including Nova Scotia and PEI. This was five months after Hurrican Juan.

Enter the name White Juan.

white juan Winter storm White Juan just before hitting Nova Scotia. Courtesy of NOAA/Wikipedia

The storm formed around 200 km southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and intensified over the Gulf Stream before approaching Atlantic Canada.

White Juan brought extreme winds speeds and snowfall amounts that broke records as it crossed the provinces.

white juan

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia received 101 cm of snow, beating its previous snowfall record of 67.8 cm that fell on Jan. 16, 1977.

Shearwater, Nova Scotia received 95.5 cm of snow, beating its previous record of 73.2 cm from Feb. 1, 1960.

Sustained winds blew as fast as 124 km/h, while reaching gusts of 147 km/h.

That snow and wind combination reduced visibilities to as little as one metre.

white juan

Both Nova Scotia and PEI went into a province-wide states of emergency. Though the storm caused more financial turmoil within the two provinces, no one was injured during White Juan.

To learn more about this winter storm, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Thumbnail image: Halifax after White Juan. Courtesy of Wikipedia/Canadaolympic989/CC BY-SA 3.0

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