The blow-by-blow of what to expect from Hurricane Fiona


Hurricane Fiona is on its way and much of the Maritimes can expect heavy rain, strong winds and likely storm surge along parts of the coast.

The storm is still expected to make landfall early Saturday as a hurricane-force post-tropical storm.

Power outages are very likely with sustained winds of 60 km/h expected over much of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southeastern New Brunswick, with winds blowing over 100 km/h.

Areas of eastern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will likely experience the strongest winds with gusts of 120-140 km/h or more appearing possible, particularly in areas exposed coastal areas. This will be particularly problematic given the long duration of this event.

Along with deciduous trees, gusts in the range of 70 to 100 km/h are also likely to cause power outages in areas further west.

Rain is already underway in the area as a cold front ahead of Fiona passes. Between the front and Fiona, rainfall totals of 100 to 150 millimeters are expected along and to the west of the track. Local amounts could exceed those of tropical showers and there is a high risk of flash flooding and washouts.

Fiona has the potential to be a record storm

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says it won’t be a Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall in Atlantic Canada, but a hurricane-strength post-tropical storm.

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Fiona will bring breakers and big waves to eastern Nova Scotia on Friday evening, then to the Gulf of St. Lawrence overnight and into Saturday.

The Canadian Hurricane Center warns of coastal flooding for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and eastern New Brunswick as the combination of storm surges and large waves moves towards the shore.

For most areas, the highest water levels will be Saturday morning near high tide.

So when does the storm come and when does it go? Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.

Friday — Last minute preparation

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

While New Brunswick will take a break from the rain on Friday, most of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will see spells of rain as a cold front stalls in the east of the Maritimes.

The winds will remain relatively light, allowing for last minute preparations.

Friday night — batten down the hatches

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

As we go to bed on Friday night, Fiona will approach. Heavier rains will arrive from the south and winds will also increase.

Friday Night – A Restless Night

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

As we enter the night, expect the wind and rain to increase rapidly. Areas closer to the storm’s path will really start to feel the force of Fiona’s winds.

Saturday morning — Fiona makes landfall

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

As Fiona makes landfall near Cape Breton, the strongest winds and heaviest rains will continue.

The storm will be massive, bringing widespread devastating gusts of 100 km/h or more. High tide coinciding with strong winds and storm surges is likely to lead to coastal flooding in some areas.

Saturday afternoon — Winds remain strong

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Again, the duration of this storm will be one of the reasons it will be so severe. Many locations in the eastern Maritimes are expected to experience gusts of over 100 km/h for 12 hours or more.

Saturday Night — Fiona Goes Slow

(Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

While western regions of the Maritimes will see conditions improve through the afternoon, it will be Saturday evening and into the night before residents of eastern regions feel some relief from the strong winds and rain.

Stay safe and stay tuned for updates over the next few days. I and meteorologists Tina Simpkin and Jay Scotland will keep you updated over the next few days on TV, radio and online.