Although the hurricane would not make landfall on the East Coast, it might affect the Outer Banks and Bermuda on its way to Canada if it maintained its current course and intensity. On Wednesday, while Hurricane Fiona loomed hundreds of miles away as a major hurricane, a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were issued for Bermuda.
In the evening on Wednesday, the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season, Fiona, reached Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 k/mh). As of Wednesday night, the storm had moved north at 9 mph and was roughly 605 miles (970 km) to the southwest of the territory.
Since the weekend, Fiona has been moving westward, which may be enough to keep the hurricane’s deadly and destructive eye wall west of Bermuda later this week. As of now, though, the path projections indicate that the islands will be slammed by hurricane-force winds late Thursday or early Friday.
It is expected that Bermuda will be spared the worst of Fiona’s wrath, but AccuWeather meteorologists are warning that Atlantic Canada will feel the full force of Fiona’s effects this weekend. Certain areas may be severely damaged even if the storm will not be a major hurricane when it approaches the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Buildings in Bermuda must be constructed to resist sustained winds of 110 miles per hour and larger wind gusts. Forecasters at AccuWeather have given Fiona, which as of Tuesday morning was packing 125 mph sustained winds and traveling north-northwest at 8 mph, a 1 on the AccuWeather RealImpact Scale for Hurricanes, meaning some power disruptions are to be expected on the islands.
During the overnight hours of Wednesday and Thursday, the waters surrounding Bermuda will get increasingly turbulent. To be safe, forecasters advise that passenger and freight ships stay out of the area until Fiona has moved on. The waves generated by Fiona will travel hundreds of miles out to sea, creating dangerous swells that could affect the whole East Coast of the United States this week.
Alan Reppert, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, warns that anybody traveling to or living along the coast this week may encounter dangerous rip currents and beach erosion due to Fiona. Southeast-facing beaches in the Northeast and Southeast, including those in Massachusetts and Florida, may experience significant erosion.
Given the increasing frequency with which the Outer Banks of North Carolina experience erosion as a result of climate change, those areas where beach rehabilitation has not been completed in the wake of significant concerns left behind by a spring storm will be particularly at risk. The maximum radii of Fiona’s hurricane-force winds are 45 miles (75 km) and 195 km, respectively (315 km). After returning from a historic mission to the Cabo Verde Islands off the northwest coast of Africa, NOAA hurricane hunters are currently gathering information on Fiona and have located the storm’s eye.
Preparing in Nova Scotia
The provincial Emergency Management Office (NSEMO) has issued a warning for severe weather in Nova Scotia this weekend, urging residents to take precautions against potential injury to themselves and their property. Heavy rain will begin on Friday as Hurricane Fiona reaches the province, likely after merging with another system.
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Power outages, floods, and other damage can be caused by storms in Nova Scotia due to the high winds, heavy rain, and storm surges. Local Government and Housing Minister John Lohr, who also oversees the EMO, said that being ready for a storm is the most important thing we can do.
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