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Nor'Easter zeros in on Newfoundland

Andrea Stockton and Jill Colton, staff writers

October 16, 2010 — Heavy rain and damaging winds: that's what you can expect if you're in Atlantic Canada on Friday and Saturday.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are possible
Heavy rain and gusty winds are possible

The first Nor'Easter of the season is walloping Atlantic Canada this weekend.

“Wet and windy. That's the best way to describe conditions across Atlantic Canada right now,” says Mark Robinson, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

Friday brought some communities across the Maritimes a boatload of rain. Halifax saw a significant drenching with 34 mm, while some places in New Brunswick really got soaked. Saint John was hit hard with 39 mm and Fredericton saw 37 mm.

Wind gusts have also been an issue. In Nova Scotia, St. Paul Island clocked gusts at 109 km/h while Baccaro Point was hit with 100 km/h winds. Meanwhile, New Brunswick also felt their fair share of winds. Saint John Airport reported 78 km/h gusts.

The winds were also responsible for power outages. At the height of the storm more than 10,000 people across both provinces were left without as electricity well after heavy rain and strong winds downed tree branches on power lines. The Nor'easter's sheer wind power also tore through Newfoundland. Wreckhouse saw peak gusts reach 128 km/h.

Peak gusts from Friday.
Peak gusts from Friday.

Further to the west, even Quebec bore the brunt of the storm. The intense low pressure system has generated heavy rainfall and strong winds across the southwest portion of the province since early Friday morning. Around 65 mm slashed St. Hubert while Montreal was soaked with some 55 mm. Northeasterly winds were particularly strong along the St. Lawrence Valley. Peak wind gusts in Ile D' Orleans measured 100 km/h and Montreal's Trudeau Airport clocked gusts at 83 km/h.

As for Saturday, the system is tracking farther east and mainly affecting Newfoundland. “Strong wind gusts will power through the province, but not too much more rainfall is expected,” explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist with The Weather Network.

Between 25-38 mm is expected to soak the ground in St. John's. However, if you're expecting the sun, you might have to wait. “The low is expected to continue spinning over Atlantic Canada for the weekend which will produce gusty, showery albeit seasonal conditions.” The wind warning is still in effect for Wreckhouse which means gusts of up to 120 km/h are expected to occur. The backside of the low is moving out, but Quebec City may see mixing while the Maritimes can expect rain.

A Nor'Easter is a relatively strong coastal storm with three ingredients. “Essentially you need cold clashing with warm, then you need a good source of moisture, and finally a strong jet stream disturbance, an upper level disturbance to set everything in motion,” says Meteorologist Chris Scott at The Weather Network.

Depending on the season and the temperature, there's a chance for freezing rain, ice pellets and even thunderstorms if there's enough warm air.

To stay up-to-date on current conditions where you are, click our Canadian Cities Index. You can also find out more about this Nor'Easter by tuning into The Weather Network on TV. The National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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