Newfoundland braces for Leslie landfall, rain already soaking Atlantic Canada

The Canadian Press
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— Image courtesy of NASA LANCE web mapping service


 Forecasters say the centre of tropical storm Leslie will almost certainly make landfall Tuesday in this province, though precisely where is still up for debate.

Environment Canada has issued hurricane and wind warnings for St. John’s and vicinity, the Avalon Peninsula north, Avalon Peninsula southeast, Avalon Peninsula southwest, Clarenville and vicinity, Bonavista Peninsula and the Burin Peninsula.

Rainfall warnings are issued for Green Bay-White Bay, Buchans and the interior, Burgeo-Ramea, Channel-Port aux Basques and vicinity, Bay St. George, Corner Brook and vicinity, Deer-Lake-Humber Valley, Gros Morne, Parson’s Pond-Hawke’s Bay, Port Saunders and the Straits and the Northern Peninsula East.

A hurricane watch means that a hurricane or an incipient hurricane condition poses a possible threat to the specified areas within 36 hours.

A trough of low pressure has stalled near the west coast of Newfoundland and will remain nearly stationary before interacting with tropical storm Leslie as it approaches Newfoundland from the south Tuesday.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax said Leslie could touch down on the island as a marginal hurricane or a strong tropical storm.

Forecaster Chris Fogarty said the storm’s circulation is about 800 kilometres in diametre and its effects will be far-reaching.

He predicts wind gusts could top 100 kilometres an hour in parts of Newfoundland.

Effects from the storm and a trough of low pressure are already being felt in parts of Atlantic Canada, where 100-150 millimetres of rain is expected to fall.

According to Environment Canada, this trough will accelerate and steer Leslie toward southeastern Newfoundland where it is expected to make landfall as a marginal hurricane or strong tropical storm later Tuesday morning. As Leslie interacts with the trough it will enhance the heavy rainfall already occurring with the trough as well as strengthen the winds behind it. However the strongest winds are most likely just to the right of Leslie's track at landfall where southeasterly gusts of 120 km/hour are currently expected. Hurricane watches are in effect for the areas most likely to see these right-of-track winds, taking into account the possibility of a slightly more westward track, with. Tropical storm watches in effect for adjacent areas.

Showers associated with the trough will continue today for western Newfoundland and change to rain at times heavy this morning. The heaviest rains will continue this evening and into Tuesday with the forecasted arrival of tropical storm Leslie. In areas with the heaviest rain 100 millimetres or more are possible over the next 48 hours.

In addition, tropical storm Leslie will bring very large waves and pounding surf to southern and eastern regions of the island Tuesday morning to afternoon. The highest impact is expected from the Burin Peninsula to the southern Avalon where the largest waves and surge are expected.

These very large waves, pounding surf, and storm surge will coincide with a falling tide and as a result, impacts from higher high water levels are not expected at this time. However the approach speed of tropical storm Leslie could change within the next 24 hours which would increase the likelihood of potentially hazardous high water levels on Tuesday — therefore these very large waves, pounding surf, and storm surge have the potential to damage coastal infrastructure for coastlines exposed to the south and southeast.

The storm’s outer bands buffeted Bermuda Sunday, causing some power outages and littering streets with tree branches and other debris.

There was no major damage or injuries.

Organizations: CANADIAN PRESSForecasters, Environment Canada, Tuesday.The Canadian Hurricane Centre Leslie's

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Atlantic Canada, Clarenville White Bay Buchans Channel-Port aux Basques Corner Brook Port Saunders Halifax Newfoundland.Effects Burin Southern Avalon

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