Hurricane Fiona
Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Travel Alert September 2022: Hurricane Fiona To Impact Eastern Canada as One Of Its Strongest Storms Ever

This could be one of the strongest storms ever to impact Canada.

If eastern Canada is in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Hurricane Fiona, with which three landfalls have already occurred and a fourth one will occur on the southern coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia as soon as early in the morning tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, 2022.

Travel Alert September 2022: Hurricane Fiona To Impact Eastern Canada as One Of Its Strongest Storms Ever

Hurricane Fiona
Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of this tropical storm system — which is currently centered approximately 215 miles southeast of Halifax in Nova Scotia and is moving north at 46 miles per hour — are 125 miles per hour, which means that it is classified as a Category 3 hurricane and is the first major hurricane of the season in the Atlantic Basin. The storm still has a well-defined eye — which means that it is well organized and strong — but it is expected to eventually weaken as it approaches its fourth landfall.

Portions of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and western Newfoundland may receive up to ten inches of rain.

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce coastal flooding within the warning areas in Atlantic Canada in areas of onshore winds. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Meanwhile, swells generated by Hurricane Fiona are affecting the northwestern Bahamas, the eastern United States coast, and Bermuda. These swells will reach Atlantic Canada this evening and cause strong rip currents and surf rough enough to threaten lives.

Landfalls of Hurricane Fiona occurred:

  • In Guadeloupe as a strong tropical storm on the evening of Friday, September 16, 2022
  • Along the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocon between the municipalities of Lajas and Cabo Rojo as a Category 1 hurricane on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18, 2022
  • In the Dominican Republic near Boca de Yuma as a strong Category 1 hurricane early in the morning of Monday, September 19, 2022

At least eight deaths have already been attributed to Hurricane Fiona.

The entire island of Puerto Rico was without electric power — many people at the time this article was written are still without electric power — as some local areas received greater than 30 inches of rain, which resulted in mudslides, landslides, and what is being described as catastrophic flooding. The president of the United States approved of declaring Puerto Rico as a major disaster area.

Meanwhile, greater than one million people in the Dominican Republic were reportedly without water.

Messages were posted on Twitter with photographs and videos which show just how powerful and destructive was Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic — and even though landfall did not occur in both the Turks and Caicos Islands and Bermuda, the storm left the aftermath of its significant impact in those areas anyway.

Now it is eastern Canada’s turn:

One reason why Hurricane Fiona became a hurricane sooner than was originally forecast is because of the warm temperature of the water in the Caribbean Sea, which was basically undisturbed by other tropical storm systems this year. Tropical storms and hurricanes draw their energy from warm water, which cools once the tropical system moves on. Because no named storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in August of 2022 — which is extremely rare — the temperature of the water did not cool.

Landfall of Hurricane Fiona could impact on the southern coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia as soon as early in the morning tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, 2022 — and after barreling past eastern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, eastern New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the hurricane will finally weaken back down to a tropical storm as it moves north over the Labrador Sea between the territory of Nunavut in Canada and Greenland.

This is not only extremely rare that a landfall of a hurricane of this strength occurs in eastern Canada; but some factors of it may be unprecedented in recorded history, as Hurricane Fiona may very well be one of the strongest storms to ever impact Canada. For example, Hurricane Fiona is forecast to bring the lowest mean sea level pressure ever recorded in Canada.

Official Warnings and Watches

The following official warnings were issued by the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States:

  • A hurricane warning is currently in effect for:
    • Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Isle-de-la-Madeleine
    • Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois
  • A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for:
    • Saint Andrews New Brunswick to west of Hubbards Nova Scotia
    • West of Brule Nova Scotia to Cap Madeleine in Quebec
    • Anticosti Island
    • Sheldrake Quebec to north of Parson’s Pond in Newfoundland
    • Boat Harbor to Hare Bay in Newfoundland
    • Francois to Saint Lawrence in Newfoundland
  • A tropical storm watch is currently in effect for:
    • North of Boat Harbor in Newfoundland to West Bay in Labrador

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from, or within Bermuda and eastern Canada over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are two airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Final Boarding Call

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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