By ROB GILLIES and DÁNICA COTO
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona transformed into a post-tropical cyclone late Friday, but meteorologists warned it could still bring hurricane-strength wind, heavy rain and big waves to the Atlantic Canada region and had the potential to be one of the most severe storms in the country’s history.
Fiona, which started the day as Category 4 storm but weakened to Category 2 strength late Friday, was forecast to make landfall in Nova Scotia early Saturday.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued a hurricane watch over extensive coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fiona should reach the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.”
“This is is definitely going to be one of, if not the most powerful, tropical cyclones to affect our part of the country,” said Ian Hubbard, meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It’s going to be definitely as severe and as bad as any I’ve seen.”
Fiona was a Category 4 hurricane when it pounded Bermuda with heavy rains and winds earlier Friday as it swept by the island on a route heading for northeastern Canada. Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. Michael Weeks, the national security minister, said there had been no reports of major damage.
The U.S. center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph) late Friday. It was centered about 140 miles (220 kilometers) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, heading north at 46 mph (74 kph).
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 185 miles (295 kilometers) from the center and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 345 miles (555 kilometers).
Hubbard said the storm was weakening as it moved over cooler water and he felt it highly unlikely it would reach land with hurricane strength. Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because once the storms reach colder waters, they lose their main source of energy. and become extratropical. But those cyclones still can have hurricane-strength winds, though with a cold instead of a warm core and no visible eye. Their shape can be different, too. They lose their symmetric form and can more resemble a comma.
Bob Robichaud, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said the center of the storm was expected to arrive in Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, but its winds …
Source:: East Bay – Entertainment