Satellites are closely monitoring Hurricane Lee as it moves towards the Canadian coast with a projected landfall on Saturday, September 16th. The storm, currently a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h), is expected to bring power outages, storm surge flooding, and flash floods to the coastlines of Maine, New England, Brunswick, and Nova Scotia within the next 24 to 48 hours, as stated by NOAA and AccuWeather. Fortunately, by the time Lee reaches the coast, it will have weakened into a post-tropical storm.
Although hurricanes and their remnants rarely reach as far north as Canada, experts anticipate that the ongoing effects of climate change will result in more frequent occurrences of these destructive weather events along the northeastern coast of North America.
Last year, Fiona, a powerful Category 4 Hurricane, reached the Canadian Atlantic coast as a post-tropical storm, causing significant damage. In fact, Fiona became the costliest storm in Canada’s history, according to CBC. However, Lee is expected to be less severe, with sustained winds of 30 mph (50 km/h) and gusts up to 50 mph (80 km/h) at the time of landfall. In comparison, Fiona struck with sustained winds of 60 mph (100 km/h) and gusts up to 87 mph (140 km/h).
Alongside Hurricane Lee, there are tropical storm Margot and tropical depression 15 currently present in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, neither of these systems pose a risk to inhabited areas.
Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially reached its peak earlier this week, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently revised its prediction for this year’s season from near-normal to above-normal levels. This adjustment was based on the unexpectedly warm surface water temperatures observed throughout the Atlantic Ocean during the spring and summer seasons.