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Hurricane Lee’s track through the Maritimes this weekend is becoming more clear | CBC News

While we are still a few days out and some uncertainty remains, a clearer picture is taking shape of Hurricane Lee’s impacts in the Maritimes this weekend.

The large and slow-moving storm is still expected to remain near Category 1 strength as it moves into the region on Saturday. Lee will then transition to a post-tropical low as it crawls northeast on Saturday night into Sunday.

The projected track has shifted over the past few days. However, the latest forecast model runs have narrowed in on the potential for the storm to move into the Gulf of Maine before making landfall somewhere in the southwestern Maritimes. 

Heavy downpours for Nova Scotia on Thursday ahead of Hurricane Lee

Meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says Hurricane Lee will likely be a Category 1 storm by the time it reaches Canadian waters.

While the impacts will be far-reaching, the area with the strongest winds on Saturday is expected to be closer to the centre of the storm. This may change with another shift in the track but currently the greatest chance for wind gusts exceeding the warning criteria of 90 km/h is mostly likely to be in southwestern Nova Scotia and southwestern New Brunswick, especially along exposed areas of the coast.

The strongest winds are currently expected in the southwest Maritimes where gusts may exceed 90 km/h. Widespread gusts 60-90 km/h elsewhere.
The wind outlook for the weekend shows the greatest chance of wind gusts above 90 km/hr in southwestern New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Lee is already a large storm, however that post-tropical transition means that gusty winds will spread across a large area far from the centre of the storm. Wind gusts in the 60 to 90 km/h range are below warning criteria but will bring the risk of widespread power outages with the trees still in full foliage.

The heaviest rainfall is currently expected to fall in southwestern Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick, which is along and northwest of the track.
The rainfall outlook for the weekend shows some parts of the Maritimes could get more than 50mm of rain. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

The heaviest rain is most likely to fall near the centre of the track and to the northwest. It’s still a bit early for forecasting potential totals, but these areas could get more than 50 mm of rainfall on Saturday and Saturday night. Further east, overall totals won’t be as high, but heavy downpours are still likely. 

While pounding surf is a slam dunk with this storm, the potential for storm surge is more uncertain. A few hours can make a big difference and we’re expecting a better picture of the storm surge risk and how it might line up with high tide over the next couple of days. Be sure to stay tuned for updates.

Tropical downpours on Thursday

Not to be overlooked, tropical moisture is moving into the region ahead of Hurricane Lee and will arrive on Thursday. 

Expect scattered showers with heavy downpours and the risk of thunderstorms on Thursday and Thursday night with the risk of some localized flash flooding.

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