Tropical cyclone information statement for:
For hurricane Gonzalo.
Hurricane Gonzalo to impact Bermuda on Friday then accelerate northeastward – likely to affect Southeastern Newfoundland late Saturday or Sunday.
Location: near 25.7 north 68.6 west.
About 830 kilometres south-southwest of Bermuda.
Maximum sustained winds: 220 km/hour.
Present movement: north at 15 km/hour.
Minimum central pressure: 945 MB.
2. Public weather impacts and warnings summary.
Latest computer models are still indicating that Gonzalo will be affecting Newfoundland this weekend, even if the centre of it remains a bit offshore. Gonzalo will be undergoing transition to a strong post-tropical storm as it races north-northeastward on Saturday with strongest winds to the right (southeast) of its track and heaviest rains to the left (northwest) and near the track itself. It is looking more likely that the main area to be affected will be Southeastern Newfoundland with rain and possibly some wind impacts from Gonzalo. Yesterday we were mentioning that Cape Breton could see rain from Gonzalo but that is looking much less likely as of this morning. The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia will, however, experience large ocean swells beginning late Friday and continuing Saturday. Details below.
As of this morning the range of track scenarios has narrowed, with the westernmost track possibility near St. Pierre and Miquelon and the easternmost about 250 kilometres southeast of Cape Race. This represents a range of about 350 kilometres with about a 40-50% chance of the storm centre making landfall in Newfoundland, down a bit from yesterday. Arrival of the main circulation/windy part of the storm is now estimated to be a bit later, ranging from late Saturday evening to Sunday morning (9 to 12 hours of uncertainty).
Note: a front with strong winds and heavy showers will cross the Maritimes on Friday and Newfoundland early Saturday. This in and of itself may feel like a tropical storm but should not to be confused with Gonzalo.
Too early to predict wind speeds specifically, but this storm has the potential to bring very strong winds over land – particularly if the centre tracks near the Burin Peninsula which would place the Avalon within the high wind region. The wind field will be expanding away from (southeast of) the centre of the storm during transition to post-tropical, thus the highest winds could move far enough away and miss the land areas. This can occur even if the storm centre technically makes landfall, as was the case with hurricane Maria in 2011. The probability of this offshore wind situation has increased as of today with computer models indicating a farther-southeast track compared to yesterday. So although the range of track scenarios is narrowing, 350 kilometres will make all the difference as to whether the Avalon region experiences the full force of the wind, or winds much less.
Rainfall from Gonzalo will be dependent on its track, forward speed of travel and state of post-tropical transition. Complicating matters further is the fact that a cold front is expected to cross Newfoundland then become stationary over the eastern part of the island by Saturday morning. That could bring with it some downpours especially if moisture from Gonzalo travels along it. The rainfall from the storm itself will likely move through very quickly and occur primarily within the front half of the storm followed by the higher winds. This is a typical pattern with these types of storms. We will have a better idea of potential rainfall amounts later today.
Certainly storm surge and waves will be of concern in Newfoundland if the centre tracks over land or even if it is just a bit offshore. Also the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia will experience large ocean swells of 2-3 metres on Saturday. We will have further details in our afternoon bulletin.
3. Marine weather impacts and warnings summary.
This storm could have heavy impacts over parts of the marine district. Hurricane force winds and significant wave heights in excess of 12 metres are certainly possible over some marine areas, especially those to the right of the storm’s track late Saturday or early Sunday. Further details will be available as the situation evolves.
Visit weatheroffice.Gc.Ca/hurricane (all in lower case) for the latest:
– forecast position, central pressure table.
– strength and predicted wind radii table.
– hurricane track information map.
– technical discussion.
Please also refer to the public and marine forecasts and warnings issued by Environment Canada for your area.
For more comprehensive information about track tables and forecast rationale, please see the Technical Discussion