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Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised- get off the water!

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 28 Mar 2014
Canadian bomb SW
It started as a seemingly ordinary low pressure center, but the storm threatening Canada is now in the process of transformation into the wildest of dangerous bombs, with hurricane force winds and the potential to cause damaging floods along coastal regions. This storm poses a dire threat to all mariners unlucky enough to be caught in its circulation, since it will pack winds exceeding 85 miles per hour, and waves that could top 45 feet in height.

Unlike the devastating Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it appears that Canada, rather than the US, is likely to take the worst of its fury.

Unfortunately it is developing its intenseness from several different areas of low pressure which are rapidly developing, as well as sharp differences in temperature between air masses in the developing area. The rate of intensification is at almost unheard of rates.

Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and northeastern Maine are expected to be hit, as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

In Canada, the storm is expected to be more intense than the February 2004 'White Juan' storm, which dropped two to three feet of snow in Halifax, bringing the city of nearly 400,000 people to a standstill. That storm brought twelve straight hours in which snow fell at a rate of at least two inches per hour, according to Environment Canada. This storm will pack a bigger punch than that event in terms of wind and high waves, but it will be moving relatively quickly, which will limit snow totals to closer to two feet in most areas.

The USA's National Weather Service has highlighted this threat in its forecasts, and has warned Cape Cod residents that they too could see wind gusts to hurricane force, or 74 miles per hour, or greater.

Environment Canada is also warning of potentially serious storm surge-related coastal flooding as the storm approaches and passes just southeast of Halifax on Wednesday afternoon. By that point, the storm may have a minimum central air pressure as low as a typical Category Two or Three hurricane.
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