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Hurricane Maria targeting Atlantic Canada

Tropical storm Maria is tracking towards Atlantic Canada
Tropical storm Maria is tracking towards Atlantic Canada

Jill Colton, staff writer

September 15, 2011 — Tropical Storm Maria has strengthened into a category one hurricane, north of Bermuda.

Maria's track map.
Maria's track map.

Hurricane Maria continues to pick up steam as it moves rapidly past Bermuda.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), an eye has been evident on Bermuda radar for a few hours, and has occasionally been seen in the visible imagery.

The NHC says that further strengthening is likely overnight while the shear remains moderate and the water is warm.

However, by the time it reaches Canadian waters, it will likely be a post tropical storm. The remnants of Maria are expected to merge/interact with a developing trough as it passes the Avalon Peninsula Friday afternoon. This means that there will be windy conditions throughout Atlantic Canada on Friday and Saturday.

A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect and Maria is expected to dump upwards of 90 mm of rain as it passes eastern Newfoundland. Environment Canada warns that localized flooding in prone areas is possible.

The outer bands of Maria have already brought rain to Halifax. “The worst day for rain will be on Friday, and then residents will have to contend with the wind on Saturday,” warns Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

The highest winds directly from Maria will likely pass offshore -- south of Newfoundland. However, a shift in the storm track to the northwest could increase the possibility of wind gusts of 100 km/h or more on the Avalon.

Maria is swirling in the Atlantic.
Maria is swirling in the Atlantic.

Coastal regions of Newfoundland can also expect the waves to build. Surge effects are likely over the southern Avalon Peninsula. EC says the highest waves could reach 4 to 7 m late Friday, mainly over the Grand Banks.

It's recommended to stay as far back from any water systems as possible due to high surf and dangerous rip tides.

Both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland felt the effects of Hurricane Katia, which became a post-tropical cyclone as it raced over the Grand Banks last Saturday. Waves reached a height of 13.5 meters southwest of Newfoundland as winds clocked in at up to 85 km/h.

Buoys off the coast of Nova Scotia reported waves of nearly 10 meters and a peak wind gust of 109 km/h.

Keep up to date with storm activity in the Atlantic by visiting our Tropical Storm Centre.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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