Gabrielle to bring rain, high winds to Newfoundland Friday night

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Environment Canada is expecting tropical depression Gabrielle to interact with a frontal system and bring heavy rain to parts of the Maritimes and Newfoundland late Friday and into Saturday.

While Gabrielle weakened to a tropical depression overnight, it’s expected to regain tropical storm status again today.

In an information statement this afternoon, Environment Canada said Gabrielle was located northwest of Bermuda and continues to drift northwestward.

It expects Gabrielle will start accelerating northward today before it begins “interacting with a cold frontal trough, extending from western Newfoundland to New Brunswick and New England.”

Environment Canada says the frontal system, completely separate from Gabrielle, will likely give heavy rainfall to parts of New Brunswick today.

As Gabrielle moves northward today, its tropical moisture is expected to be drawn toward this frontal system in the form of a second area of heavy rain which could reach the south shore of Nova Scotia Friday morning.  The rain is expected to spread to the rest of the Atlantic coast, eastern Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and western Newfoundland later on Friday.  

While Environment Canada is pretty certain of this interaction taking place, based on computer information, it says thre are still some significant differences between the models regarding where the heaviest rain will occur. But, it believes rainfall warnings will be required for some of the affected areas once the scenario becomes clearer.

The storm centre isn’t expected to have much of a direct impact on the Atlantic region, as most of its energy will go into strengthening the existing frontal trough on Friday. But Environment Canada says what is left of Gabrielle’s circulation will likely clip Eastern Nova Scotia late Friday then move into Southwestern Newfoundland by Saturday morning. “The original storm center may be barely discernable at that time as its energy will have become absorbed into the frontal system.”

Winds are expected to increase on the east side of the track over Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton late Friday night, with wind gusts up to 80 km/h possible. These winds are forecast to move into southwestern Newfoundland on Saturday.

In addition to heavy rainfall, Environment Canada says, given the expected strength of Gabrielle and current tidal cycle over the region, significant storm surge is not expected. But, some heavier surf is possible over Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton as well as southern Newfoundland with the passage of Gabrielle's remaining circulation Friday night and Saturday.

“Gale warnings are in effect for maritime waters in the path of Gabrielle for Friday,” Environment Canada’s latest information statement says. “Gale force winds will likely develop ahead of Gabrielle over southern maritime waters early on Friday, then spread northward during the day and to Newfoundland waters late Friday into Saturday.  The strongest winds will likely occur just east of the remaining circulation of Gabrielle when it crosses Maritimes and Newfoundland waters later on Friday and early Saturday morning. Wave model guidance currently shows significant wave heights up to six meters are possible when Gabrielle enters Canadian waters on Friday.”

More information on the current storms can be found on Environment Canada’s website at weatheroffice.Gc.Ca/hurricane

AccuWeather forecasting heavy rain for western Newfoundland

According to Canada Weather Specialist Brett Anderson, "The heaviest rainfall, likely 25-50 mm, will run along and just west of the track up through eastern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and western Newfoundland."

In addition to the heavy rainfall, Gabrielle will also bring winds of tropical storm force to the region that could bring down trees and lead to power outages.

"At this point, it looks like tropical storm-force winds could impact Cape Breton then the south coast of Newfoundland late Friday and Friday night." Anderson said early Wednesday.

By Saturday, he said, interactions with land and the sweeping energy of the cold front will likely cause Gabrielle to lose tropical characteristics. However, the system may still bring some more rainfall to part of Labrador before it travels over the cold waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean.





Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Bermuda New England Cape Breton Atlantic Southern Newfoundland

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