Forecasters are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Larry, which became a major hurricane late Friday night.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that Larry is currently a Category 3 hurricane and could soon reach Category 4 status. “Some additional strengthening is forecast over the next day or so, followed by some intensity fluctuations. However, Larry is expected to remain at major hurricane strength through the early part of next week,” states the NHC.
As of 5:00 pm AST on Saturday, the NHC expects Larry to continue moving across the central Atlantic and will approach Bermuda in the next four to five days, possibly as a major hurricane. This means that the island could see strong winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding.
Swells and rip currents will spread westward to portions of the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and Bermuda on Monday and Tuesday. Presently, Larry is 2,425 km southeast of Bermuda.
Forecasters warn that significant swells will likely reach the eastern United States coastline after Labour Day.
“Significant swells will likely reach the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada around midweek. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, and beachgoers and other interests along these coasts are urged to follow the advice of lifeguards and local officials through the upcoming week.”
The Weather Network meteorologists are monitoring the potential impacts that Larry could bring to Newfoundland next Friday as it tracks into the North Atlantic.
Currently, the most likely scenario is for Larry to recurve out to sea and just clip southeastern Newfoundland, though still with a major impact potential on shipping and fishing with dangerous waves. However, there are some computer models that also show a risk for Larry’s track to be close enough to bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Newfoundland, especially the Avalon, next weekend.
Regardless of its eventual impacts, Larry will continue to be a powerful storm as it tracks into the North Atlantic, with very dangerous waves extending a long way out from the track of the storm.
"For Atlantic Canadians, there is no need to worry right now. But check in daily and start paying closer attention this weekend and early next week to the forecast," said The Weather Network's Chief Meteorologist, Chris Scott.
A LOOK AT THE CURRENT HURRICANE SEASON
The Atlantic hurricane season took off with force in May and June, but there was somewhat of a lull throughout the month of July as the stormy impacts came to a bit of a halt. Tropical storm activity picked up in full intensity once again during August, with forecasters still calling for an above average season that's set to peak September 10 and last right through November.
"After a record-setting start, the Atlantic 2021 hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead," said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad in the updated hurricane forecast released last month.
The latest outlook reflects that the number of expected named storms with winds of 62 km/h is 15-21, including 7-10 hurricanes (winds of 119 km/h or greater), of which 3-5 could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 with winds 178 km/h or greater). The forecast is a slight increase from the one NOAA released in May.
The most recent and devastating impacts have been felt over this past week with Ida, as the Category 4 hurricane made landfall over Louisiana last Sunday, with wind gusts upwards of 275 km/h. Though later losing its tropical characteristics, Ida's remnants went on to trigger catastrophic rainfall and flooding in the U.S. Northeast before crossing into Canadian waters and dumping 100+ mm of rain over one day in the Maritimes.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the Atlantic hurricane season.