After days of dry, hot weather with heightened fire hazard ratings and some heat warnings in effect, parts of Newfoundland are expecting heavy rain and high winds from the remains of Hurricane Chris as it downgrades to a tropical storm.
"What we have is pretty much a wet day today, and a wet and windy night tonight," Wanda Batten, meteorologist with Environment Canada, told the St. John's Morning Show Thursday.
Environment Canada updated its forecast early Thursday morning, with a warning that heavy rain, strong winds, significant waves and storm surges could hit coastal areas of the island on Thursday. By approximately 8:30 a.m. NT, rain had begun in the Terra Nova and Eastport areas.
Rain and windfall warnings in effect
The storm is moving northeast toward Newfoundland, Environment Canada said, and wind and rainfall warnings are in effect for the southeastern portion of the island. Up to 80 millimetres of rain is expected for southeastern Newfoundland, and swells of six to eight metres are possible along the southern Avalon Peninsula.
The north and southwest Avalon Peninsula are forecast to get between 40 and 70 millimetres of rain, with the heaviest rainfall coming Thursday afternoon and evening.
Similar rainfalls are forecasted for the Bonavista Peninsula, the Burin Peninsula, Connaigre, Terra Nova and Clarenville areas.
Wind warnings are in place for the southeast Avalon, St. John's and vicinity, where gusts could be close to 100 km/h. Gale-force winds are also expected to develop on the offshore in southern Newfoundland. The warning applies more to the area near the capital, Batten said, not St. John's itself.
"Hardest hit with wind will be the eastern edge of the Avalon, and hardest hit with precipitation is going to be basically just the isthmus and out as far as Terra Nova down to Connaigre," Batten said.
Chris is expected to be a post-tropical storm by the time it arrives Thursday, slowly weakening as it moves toward the Avalon Peninsula.
But the bad weather shouldn't stick around too long — Chris is moving fairly quickly.
"It's going to start raining later on this morning and the intensity's going to pick up this afternoon, and everything should be starting to diminish by midnight anyway, and definitely done by Friday morning," Batten said.
Environment Canada said that more details will become available as the storm's track and intensity becomes more certain.
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