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Arthur: Confidence grows that hurricane will hit Atlantic Canada Saturday

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By Chris Scott
Chief Meteorologist
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:22 AM

As of late Wednesday, computer models are in strong agreement on a likely hit by Arthur on Atlantic Canada. It appears the chances for a complete miss are dwindling rapidly.

Arthur gained hurricane status early Thursday as it slowly makes its move along the Carolina coast.

EXTENDED ACTIVE WEATHER COVERAGE: Tune in to The Weather Network for the latest updates on Arthur. Our team of reporters provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date coverage.

The concern for Atlantic Canada is that the storm’s forecast track has narrowed so it appears there is no way out from Arthur having a significant impact this weekend.

Current timing suggests a Saturday impact for the Maritimes, with the storm affecting Newfoundland Saturday night into Sunday. If the current track holds, the biggest impact would be on Nova Scotia as the centre of the storm could take a path very similar to Earl in 2010 along the south shore before moving inland.

However, it is still way too early to get specific about a possible landfall location. Possibilities range from the Bay of Fundy on the western edge of the track envelope to the Burin Peninsula on the eastern edge. Keep in mind, the storm will be increasing in size as it moves into Atlantic Canada so regardless of the exact track, much of the region will be impacted by the storm.

How strong could it be?

Current forecasts indicate Arthur as a strong tropical storm or borderline hurricane as it nears Nova Scotia Saturday morning. As is typical, the storm will begin losing its tropical core as it loses the warm ocean waters and encounters stronger jet stream winds. This means the heaviest rains will fall west of the track. Typically winds are strongest to the right of the track, but it’s likely this storm will feature a large area of strong winds across Atlantic Canada. Arthur will likely still be a formidable storm on Saturday and affect a large area as it takes on a hybrid low pressure appearance.

Assuming wind gusts are near hurricane strength, significant power outages are possible, particularly across Nova Scotia. Rainfall will be heavy with current indications showing the heaviest rain falling through New Brunswick, western Nova Scotia and western PEI. Depending on the forward speed of the system, some localized flooding is possible in these areas.

The impact of storm surge and waves will be pinned down as the exact track forecast becomes more precise. However, it’s likely seas well offshore will be menacing, with 7-8 metre waves possible across the east and west scotian slope.

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