FIONA moving towards Nova Scotia at hurricane strength.
From west to east:
As anticipated, Disturbance Thirty Two deepened overnight and has been upgraded to Tropical Depression Nine by the National Hurricane Centre. Currently 120 Miles North of Aruba, westbound at 10 knots this isn’t producing anything deep and meaningful at the moment but will probably reach tropical storm intensity tomorrow as wind shear softens and is expected to develop into a category two hurricane overnight on Sunday to the south of Cuba. This will then make its first landfall and cross Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico and turning to the east. Landfalls, crossing terra firma and sharp alterations of track make forecasts rather unreliable but this is expected to regain hurricane intensity early in the week with eye on Florida.
Destructive Category Three hurricane FIONA is now 280 miles north of Bermuda headed north-nor’east at 35 knots. This is at peak now producing winds touching 145 knots with a windfield radius close to 300 miles, which represents a hurricane severity index rating of 35 out of a possible 50 points (22 for size and 13 for intensity). Although the threat of heavy squalls across Bermuda is diminishing, winds will continue at tropical storm force across Bermuda for a few hours more. There is some wobbling taking place and the eyewall is deteriorating but nonetheless, this continues to be a destructive force as is sweeps into eastern Nova Scotia tonight before landfall somewhere between Halifax and Port Hawkesbury with maximum sustained winds of 100 knots tomorrow morning. Winds of hurricane force are expected to extend more than 100 miles east of the centre thus, the entire Cape Breton area is expected to receive hurricane force winds and significant tidal surges. After clearing Nova Scotia, FIONA is expected to slow and move west of Newfoundland, continuing to produce hurricane force winds.
Oddball tropical storm GASTON is now 90 miles north-west of the Azores, now headed south-west at 7 knots. This maverick cyclone is now expected to make a clockwise loop across the Azores over the weekend but will gradually weaken and transition into a non-tropical low pressure system by Monday. Winds of tropical storm force and some heavy rainfall will impact the Azores over the weekend, but only of marginal intensity. GASTON does not pose a significant threat.
Disturbance Thirty Four is now 750 miles west-sou’west of the Cape Verde Islands, loafing about aimlessly. Conditions could gradually become more favourable for development over the next few days but as things stand, its track and intensity are uncertain.
Disturbance Thirty Five is centred 200 miles east of the Cape Verde Islands headed west-nor’west at 10 knots. This has a twinkle in its eye and may develop into a weak tropical storm but looks to be shaping up for an early turn into Atlantic anonymity.
Stand by for hurricane force winds across Nova Scotia and the eastern seaboard of Atlantic Canada.