Hurricane could strike province

Hurricane Earl is heading this way, and our heat wave could help it along.

Hurricane Earl is heading this way, and our heat wave could help it along.

Chris Fogarty with the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth said it’s hard to tell where Earl will go, but if it does hit Atlantic Canada it will be on Friday night or Saturday morning. “We’re looking at track scenarios that go between Maine to eastern Newfoundland so there’s lots of uncertainty this far out,” he said.

But if it does get anywhere near Nova Scotia, the current hot weather will help keep Earl tropical and powerful.

“It preconditions the atmosphere to be tropical in temperature so it allows these storms to retain their tropical character a little longer,” Fogarty said.

Yesterday Earl tracked north of the Caribbean islands, and by late in the day it was upgraded to a Category 4 storm.

“It’s a major hurricane,” Fogarty said.

Besides the hot weather, ocean temperatures and upper-level winds are big factors in determining how powerful Earl will be if it reaches this area.

“Storms that come up from the southwest like that very often track offshore but we do get hit by them occasionally so you can’t predict four or five days ahead exactly where it’s going to go,” he said.

Regardless, Nova Scotians should be prepared with an emergency kit, said Emergency Management Minister Ramona Jennex.

What started as a slow hurricane season is now in full swing with three storms in play: hurricane Danielle south of Newfoundland, Earl in the Caribbean, and a storm developing in the mid-Atlantic. If this storm spins into a hurricane, it will be called Fiona.

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