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Danny 'gathering strength' as it heads toward Nova Scotia

Don’t kid yourself when it comes to tropical storm Danny.

Don’t kid yourself when it comes to tropical storm Danny.

“It could still pack a pretty good punch,” Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Thursday.

Although Danny doesn’t appear to have as much muscle as hurricane Bill, Robichaud said the latest weather system in the Atlantic Ocean is “gathering strength” and headed our way.

He said Danny is expected to intensify into a hurricane when it whirls through waters off the coast of the northern United States early this weekend, and then transition into a post-tropical storm just before passing through Nova Scotia, likely late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

“These things aren’t to be taken lightly, even though they’ve completed the transition process,” Robichaud said at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in downtown Dartmouth, pointing to a screen showing Danny could track straight through the province.

But he said it’s too early to put “too much stock in the actual track.”

“We’re not expecting this to be quite as strong as Bill,” Robichaud added. “But that doesn’t mean that we won’t see winds that are close to what Bill brought us over the weekend.”

Hurricane Bill had weakened to a Category 1 storm when it scraped by Sunday, but the storm still packed winds of up to 87 kilometres per hour and dumped between 50 and 60 millimetres of rain on Halifax Regional Municipality.

“Bill was kind of a different beast altogether,” Robichaud said, adding it peaked as a Category 4 hurricane. “The whole time that it tracked south of Nova Scotia, it kept its structure as a tropical-type system, so it wasn’t post-tropical.”

But he pointed out that post-tropical storm Hanna dumped 145 millimetres of rain on Saint John. N.B. last year, “which caused a lot of flooding.”

“Any time you have a tropical type storm headed your way, you’ve got to be prepared for it,” Robichaud said.

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