‘Cone of uncertainty’

·2 min read

A tropical storm-cyclone warning was issued for Queens County, P.E.I. on Sept. 19, as the hurricane Fiona continues to inch its way towards the North Atlantic.

Fiona, the third major storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, developed into a category 3 hurricane on Tuesday.

Although the course of the storm is still uncertain, it still could likely swing westward, affecting parts of eastern P.E.I., Nova Scotia and southwest Newfoundland, said Ian Hubbard, meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, N.S.

“It’s still in the very early stages right now, but we are tracking it with a lot of caution,” said Hubbard during an interview with SaltWire Network on Sept. 19.

Fiona is not expected to reach Atlantic Canada until this weekend. As of now, P.E.I. could see heavy rain, high winds and severe swells along the coast.

As of noon, Tuesday, the storm was 65 kilometres north-west off Turks and Caicos Islands and will likely strengthen to a category 4 hurricane over the next few days.

By the time it comes up to Atlantic Canada, it will go through an extra-tropical transition and will likely die down to a post-tropical storm.

“Even though it may not be qualified as a hurricane anymore, it will still be a very powerful post-tropical storm that will bring a punch with it,” he said.

Allister Aalders, weather specialist for SaltWire Network, said he expects Island residents will at least see heavy rain and high winds throughout Saturday and going into Sunday.

The current forecast “cone of uncertainty” around Fiona’s track ranges from the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton into southwest Newfoundland and Labrador, but a westward shift has been observed in the last number of model runs, he said.

“How much rain and how strong the winds is the question yet to be answered as we wait to see where exactly Fiona tracks,” said Aalders on Sept. 20.

Rafe Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian