Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurricane Bill heading for Canada


As stated in the previous post, we now have a red alert warning that there is at least a 35% chance that Hurricane Bill will strike Canada this weekend. The National Hurricane Center track is now showing a direct hit on Nova Scotia on Sunday.

Hurricane Bill expected to pound Atlantic Canada with heavy rain, winds Sunday (The Canadian Press)
HALIFAX, N.S. — Hurricane Bill is expected to pummel parts of Atlantic
Canada with torrential rain, large ocean swells and howling, hurricane-force
winds starting late Sunday, the Canadian Hurricane Centre says.

The storm is expected to enter Canadian waters along George's Bank early Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane, churning out sustained winds at 190 kilometres per hour, the centre's program supervisor, Peter Bowyer, said Thursday.

The latest computer models suggest Bill will swing south of Nova Scotia, where it will be downgraded to a marginal Category 2 storm with damaging winds surpassing 152 km/h offshore.

The storm's eye is not expected to make landfall Sunday, but Bill is large enough that its huge spiral bands are expected to savage parts of Nova Scotia with 120 km/h winds and up to 100 millimetres of rain.
Bill has been downgraded to a Category 3 today but he is expected to intensify back to a Cat 4 by this evening. Bill will remain a dangerous, major storm as it enters Canadian waters.

Environment Canada - Hurricane Information Statements

Before making landfall in Canada, Bill will pass between the US East Coast and Bermuda. It is not likely that Bermuda will take a direct hit but the island will be on the dirty side of the storm. If Bill is still a Cat 3 as it passes Bermuda, the island can see some severe winds and heavy rain.

Here Comes Hurricane Bill! (AccuWeather)

Hurricane Bill is a large Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. The storm is expected to regain Category 4 intensity (winds over 130 mph) within the next 18 hours.

Watch out, New England! This will be a close call, though we do expect the worst of Bill to pass just to the east. Nevertheless, southeastern Massachusetts and certainly Cape Cod can expect a pretty nasty blow from the storm late Saturday night and early Sunday with potential for winds to 60 miles per hour.

One of the questions is if Bill will pass more to the west and cause more trouble for teh US eastern seaboard. The controlling factor with regard to this is what happens to with the cold front. If the cold front tightens up, Hurricane Bill could head straight north instead of veering towards Nova Scotia. In that case New England could be slammed hard.

Could Bill Track Farther West? (AccuWeather)

Currently, the projected steering currents for the weekend bring the storm close to southeastern New England early Sunday, but then the center of the hurricane veers off toward Nova Scotia.

In order for the storm to come straight north, like the 1938 storm or hurricane Gloria, the upper-level flow would have to back around much more than what is currently projected on the computers. If that were to happen (let's give it less than 20 percent chance), eastern New England would really get walloped.

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