Newfoundlanders should prepare for strong winter weather from approaching post-tropical storm Nicole, which could hit much of the island this weekend.
Nicole, which hit Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday, is anticipated to track near or over much of Newfoundland from Saturday into Sunday. The provincial government is warning residents to expect winds, rain and snow, as well as freezing rain and ice pellets.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has also released a special weather statement, forecasting snow, ice and rain to hit parts of the island.
"The biggest thing here would be the potential for freezing rain, and then some potential power outages in some areas, depending on where [the storm] falls," said CBC N.L. meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler.
What can we expect?
The weekend could potentially start with snow through parts of central and western Newfoundland, said Brauweiler. People living in these areas can also expect freezing rain throughout the afternoon on Saturday, ending with potential flurries early Sunday morning.
There is also the potential for some isolated power outages through the Baie Verte Peninsula and areas on Newfoundland's west coast if significant freezing rain occurs, she said.
The island's Northern Peninsula can expect its first significant snowfall of the fall on the weekend.
Brauweiler says southern and eastern parts of Newfoundland should expect heavy rain throughout Saturday, with colder temperatures and the potential for flurries to hit some areas on the east coast on Sunday.
Nicole hit Florida as a hurricane Thursday, while also reaching into Georgia, the Carolinas and Alabama. Brauweiler says as the storm tracks further north, said Brauweiler, it'll bring some showers and potential flooding rains to parts of Ontario and the central U.S.
The storm will bring heavy rain to parts of Atlantic Canada on Saturday, says Brauweiler.
Although this will be the province's first winter-like storm of the season, Brauweiler says the winds won't be overly impressive, with most areas of the island facing 60 km/h winds to as much as 80 km/h wind gusts. Winds may reach over 100 km/h in some exposed areas of the south coast.
The provincial government is encouraging residents to stay up to date with the most recent forecast information and to take steps to ensure their safety. Municipalities and local service districts are also being told to review their emergency management plans.
Uncharacteristically warm weather
Although Newfoundlanders are no strangers to unusual weather, the province has experienced some uncharacteristically warm temperatures throughout the end of October and November.
Oct. 27 marked the 79th time St. John's reached temperatures above 20 C this year, tying 2012 for the year with the most days above 20 C in a year.
Brauweiler says temperatures seemed to be warmer this fall because weather patterns allowed warm, tropical air to travel to the province.
Essentially, temperatures were above seasonal throughout the summer, says Brauweiler, and weather patterns allowed this trend to continue into the fall.
Models show that the province may continue this trend of above seasonal temperatures through the winter, or at least through December, says Brauweiler.