A tropical storm that could make landfall in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday may hit the Maritimes by the weekend, bringing rain, wind and mild temperatures to the region, according to Environment Canada.
The federal weather agency has issued tropical cyclone information statements for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Îles-de-la-Madeleine in Quebec.
Tropical storm Nicole, located north of the Bahamas as of Tuesday afternoon, will head toward Florida before turning northward and travelling over Georgia and the Carolinas, merging with a cold front and becoming post tropical, the advisory says.
The combined weather system is then expected to track through New England early Saturday and into the Maritimes by the evening.
"Since the storm is expected to transition to 'post-tropical' well to our south, it will essentially be an autumn type storm while impacting Eastern Canada."
Nicole is not expected to be as severe as post-tropical storm Fiona, which knocked out power to more than 50,000 N.B. Power customers across the province in September, according to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.
That said, the "fall-like storm" looks set to bring some heavy rain and gusty winds to the region, he said.
Rain and wind is likely over the Maritime provinces with very mild, tropical temperatures and gusty winds south of the track, and cold northeasterly winds north of it, Environment Canada said. Parts of central and eastern Quebec and Newfoundland could see some snow.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is tracking Nicole and is expected to issue updates Wednesday and Thursday.
Severe storms more common, be prepared for outages
Severe storms are becoming more commonplace in the region, said N.B. Power president and CEO Lori Clark.
Although the utility invests year-round to ensure it has a strong grid by conducting proper maintenance and replacing assets as needed, "outages can still happen," she said.
"It is very important that all New Brunswickers are ready in the event of severe weather."
In the wake of Fiona, and as part of Storm Preparedness Week, Nov. 6-12, the province is reminding citizens of the need to be ready in case of an emergency.
Fiona 'a wake up call'
"We had been spared a major storm for a few years, and hurricane Fiona was probably a wake-up call for some," Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said in a statement.
"New Brunswick must remember disaster can strike at any time of year. Anyone who thinks 'It can't happen to me' is taking a huge risk," he said.
Severe weather can leave people isolated, with vital services interrupted for hours or, in extreme cases, for days.
There are three important components to being prepared for an emergency, the province said in a news release.
Know the risks: Evaluate the kind of emergency that can affect your family and community so you can prepare.
Make a plan: Take 30 minutes to talk to your family about where you would meet, how you would contact each other, and what you would do in different situations, then write it down and keep it in a safe place.
Create an emergency kit: Have the necessities for you and your family, such as water, food, flashlights, radio, batteries, a First Aid kit, prescription medications, infant formula and cash. Enough supplies to last at least 72 hours is usually recommended.