The island of Newfoundland is facing its first tropical weather system of the 2018 season as Hurricane Chris continues to gain strength off the US Eastern Seaboard.
The system is predicted to miss Nova Scotia but weaken to a post-tropical storm as it hits the southern Avalon Thursday night.
PAL Airlines and Aerospace Meteorologist Brian Walsh says it’s rare that all of the weather models agree so closely in predicting the track of a tropical system.
Rarely do you see agreement this close for the track of a tropical system. Nearly all of the guidance takes #Chris as a post-tropical storm over the Avalon Peninsula, or just to the east, late Thursday. Main issues are potential downpours, gusty winds and high waves #nlwx pic.twitter.com/HdwcY7DfVF
— Brian Walsh (@BWalshNL) July 10, 2018
Walsh says Hurricane Chris is expected to maintain its current strength, or slightly intensify today as it continues to track northeast, but will weaken on Thursday as it tracks over the cold waters north of the Gulf Stream.
Walsh says the current expectation is that the storm will track over the Southeastern Avalon Peninsula Thursday evening, either as a Category 1 Hurricane or as a strong post-tropical storm. Typically with post tropical storms, the heaviest rain is to the west and the strongest winds and waves are to the east.
Walsh says the storm will move very quickly with the entire duration less than 12 hours, except for the remaining swell into Friday morning. Whether Chris will make landfall as a Hurricane or Post-Tropical Storm isn’t the major thing to pay attention to says Walsh, as it will still bring very strong wind gusts to the Avalon Peninsula, particularly along the Southern Shore and along the east coast to St. John’s.
Heavy rain of up to 100 mm in some areas could result in localized flooding, coupled with strong winds and storm surges with swells up to eight metres.
Light rain or showers across Newfoundland, unrelated to Chris, which shouldn’t amount to much through the day.
-Hurricane Chris tracks just south of Sable Island
-Showers will become more prevalent across Central and Eastern Newfoundland,
-Rain, at times heavy, becoming torrential at times west of the Avalon by mid-afternoon until mid to late evening.
-The heaviest rain looks to fall from the Avalon Isthmus out towards Gander and down to the Connaigre/Burin Peninsulas.
-Some areas of Eastern Newfoundland (Burin Peninsula up towards Clarenville/Terra Nova and the Bonavista Peninsula) could see upwards of 100 mm, or more, of rain falling in less than 12 hours.
-Possibility of localized flooding and road, or shoulder, washouts.
-Slight to moderate risk of thunderstorms across Eastern Newfoundland, which could enhance the rainfall totals as well.
Avalon Peninsula: 15-30 mm (up to 50 mm on the Isthmus)
Burin Peninsula, Bonavista Peninsula, Clarenville, Terra Nova: 50-100+ mm
Central Newfoundland (east of Gander) and the Bay D’Espoir Highway to the Connaigre Peninsula: 40-70 mm
Central Newfoundland (Grand Falls-Windsor to Gander): 20-40 mm