Hurricane Larry made landfall in the very early morning hours of Saturday near the isthmus of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, as the system ramped up the speed at which it was making its approach Friday. Even before landfall, winds greater than 130 km/h were recorded along southern areas of the peninsula, and thousands of power outages have been reported. In all, the island is in for a night of damaging winds and heavy rain.
LARRY MAKES LANDFALL AS A CATEGORY 1 STORM
More than a week after forming in the Atlantic, Hurricane Larry made landfall in Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, after spending the day gathering speed as it made its approach.
With its winds of 130 km/h, the storm was a Category 1 hurricane.
The storm was already having a major impact prior to landfall. Winds in the 130-150 km/h range were recorded over much of the southern Avalon, with downed tree branches reported.
More than 2,300 outages were reported on the Avalon and Burin peninsulas, with hours yet to come of peak winds.
The worst conditions of the storm will be ongoing overnight into early Saturday morning. Widespread wind gusts of 130-160 km/h are possible during the height of the storm, likely lasting for several hours.
Newfoundland is used to gusty winds during the winter storms that roll through the region. However, Larry will be different. Most of the region’s windstorms occur during the winter months after the leaves have fallen. Trees here are still covered in foliage, which will add stress and make tree damage more likely as Larry’s winds spread over the region.
The storm’s strong and broad wind field will push a dangerous storm surge into Newfoundland’s southern coasts. A storm surge is seawater pushed inland by a storm’s persistent winds.
“Storm surge warnings are in effect on the south coast from McCallum east to Cape Race, including Placentia Bay,” according to ECCC’s tropical cyclone information statement.
Communities within the warning could experience dangerous coastal flooding during the height of the storm. The agency added that storm surge warnings could be extended to include the eastern Avalon Peninsula.
Heavy rainfall will accompany the high winds. Larry is a fast-moving storm, which will limit the amount of rain the storm can drop on the region. Rainfall totals of 20-50 mm are possible by the end of the storm.
Conditions will begin to improve on Saturday morning as Larry races off toward the north. Some rain and stiff winds will linger into the morning. Saturday afternoon will remain gusty as the last vestiges of the storm exit the region.
DANGEROUS SURF AND RIP CURRENTS ARE LIKELY
Even though Larry’s direct impacts will be limited to southeastern Newfoundland, the effects of the storm could be felt across Atlantic Canada through this weekend.
The storm’s winds have generated significant swells that will buffet the coast over the next few days. Coastal areas in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland may witness dangerous surf and rip currents as the storm passes the region to the east.
"As Larry approaches from the southwest on Friday evening, long period waves of 7 to 10 metres will impact south facing coastlines," ECCC says.
The system could also influence heavy rain over parts of the Maritimes, though the main driver of these downpours, heaviest in northern New Brunswick, will be an unrelated trough.
"While Hurricane Larry will not have a direct impact on the Maritimes, it will be a key factor for causing the front to slow as it tracks into the region, bringing widespread rain and thunderstorms to the region," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Rainfall totals of 40-80 mm are expected for parts of the Maritimes, eastern Quebec, and southeastern Labrador.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest updates on Hurricane Larry.