Residents of the eastern portion of the island are being reminded to secure loose items on their properties and brace for high winds and heavy rains as Post-Tropical Storm Chris bears down on Newfoundland.
Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre, Bob Robichaud says the storm has been downgraded to a strong post tropical storm, but will still pack a significant punch as it tracks over the southern Avalon sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 this evening.
Robichaud says maximum wind gusts will be in the range of 100 km/h while precipitation levels will be between 60 and 80 mm over a relatively short period of time. Rain has already started falling on the east coast, with winds increasing through the evening and overnight hours.
Robichaud says residents can expect strong winds and heavy rain, with higher winds east of the storm’s track and heavier rain to the west. He says the heaviest rain will be seen on the Burin, Bonavista and Avalon peninsulas this evening.
WorkplaceNL, meanwhile, is asking that people use extreme caution when driving in strong winds and heavy rain, and to check the forecast before venturing out on the highway.
Drivers are being reminded to keep their attention on the road and slow down to avoid hydroplaning and losing control in high gusts.
Turn your lights on so other drivers can see you, and add at least two extra seconds of following time behind vehicles to give you more space and time to react.
They also remind drivers that there may be times when it is better to pull over and stop in a safe place when rain or winds become too heavy to drive safely.
Tropical Storm Chris is tracking over much colder waters north of the Gulf stream and will continue to weaken today, making the transition to a post-tropical storm this afternoon as it approaches Eastern Newfoundland.
The model tracks show very little change since yesterday and the centre of Chris is expected to track over the southeastern Avalon Peninsula later this evening.
PAL Airlines and Aerospace Meteorologist, Brian Walsh says the heaviest rain is expected just to the west of the lows track, while the strongest winds, along with highest waves, are just east of the low.
#Chris has weakened back to a Tropical Storm this morning as it tracks near Sable Island. A full update is on my Facebook page: https://t.co/JmEd8dNtWE
No real changes from yesterday; significant rain just west of the Avalon; gusts to 100 km/h on SE Avalon and storm surge #nlwx pic.twitter.com/Y53fAsFckP
— Brian Walsh (@BWalshNL) July 12, 2018
Through to midnight, the St. John’s Metro region and eastern Avalon can expect 5-15 mm of rain, 15-30 on the western Avalon, the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas as well as Clarenville and Terra Nova will see the worst with anywhere between 50 and 80 millimeters of rain, the Northeast Coast including Gander can expect 25-50 and the rest of central will see 10-25 mm.
The strongest winds should remain offshore according to Walsh but, areas of the Southern Shore, on the eastern side could see gusts up to 100 km/h.
St. John’s/Metro can expect peak gusts around 70-90 km/h.
Significant wave heights of 5-8 meters will move towards coastal communities on the southern Avalon as well as the coast of the Burin Peninsula and Placentia Bay. If the low tracks further west, some higher waves of 10 meters could be seen.
If the storm hits as expected, there could be some damage to coastal infrastructure, and potential flooding, especially on the southern Avalon.
Walsh says the entire duration of the storm will be less than 12 hours, except for the remaining swell into Friday morning.