WATCH ABOVE: Arthur grew into a Category 1 storm on Thursday and it’s expected to strengthen further. Ross Lord has more on the storm and what Atlantic Canadians can expect.
TORONTO – Hurricane Arthur is heading towards Canada.
As of 3 p.m. ADT, Hurricane Arthur was still 400 km southwest of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Maximum wind speeds were 150 km/h, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale which measures hurricane strength. The National Hurricane Centre in the U.S. estimates that the hurricane will strengthen to a Category 2. The storm was moving toward the north-northeast at 20 km/h. The National Hurricane Center in the U.S. estimates that the hurricane will strengthen to a Category 2 by Friday.
WATCH: Global News meteorologist Anthony Farnell has an update Thursday evening
But as Arthur continues along its track, it is expected to speed up and, thanks to a system coming out of Quebec, turn toward the northeast, heading straight for Atlantic Canada.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia as the system, which is expected to weaken by Saturday, reaches Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The main threats are to those in New Brunswick.
“New Brunswick in particular, they have a threat of very heavy rains in that area, particularly the southern part of the province,” said Chris Fogarty, Manager of the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is calling for 50 to 100 mm of rain in the region in about 12 hours or less. “One hundred and fifty is certainly not outside the possibility,” Fogarty said.
WATCH: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory urged the public and reporters not to “put on their stupid hat” in regards to the oncoming Hurricane Arthur.
Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will also get heavy rain, however, it is likely to be in shorter duration. Still, the rain will fall hard. Fogarty said that they estimate rain of 15 to 25 mm/h to fall. Typically, it would take four to five hours to get that much rainfall from a regular system.
Winds in excess of 100 km/h are expected in particular to the south and east of the storm track. Though the Canadian Hurricane Centre said that it’s still too early to know for certain where the track will take Arthur, it is believed that Atlantic coastal Nova Scotia will be on the windier side.
As for Newfoundland, Fogarty said that they might experience fairly heavy rain in the northern part of the province, but it’s the Maritimes that will experience the brunt of it.
READ MORE: Hurricane season forecasts tied to El Nino
As for whether or not Arthur will reach Atlantic Canada as a hurricane or a post-tropical depression – weaker than a hurricane – Fogarty said it could be more in the way of a nor’easter-type storm.
But that doesn’t mean that the storm isn’t to be taken just as seriously.
“People tend to focus on the name, the classification of systems, but we’ve learned from recent years, like Hurricane Igor in Newfoundland.
That was a post-tropical storm when it was unleashing its fury…and it washed out many roads and bridges. Sandy was post-tropical, but obviously, they can still pack a punch.
As with any major storm, it’s important for people to take precautions and prepare, such as making sure they have flashlights, batteries, water, cash on hand and gas in the car.
“It’s not to be downplayed. When we declare something as post-tropical, those storms can be quite potent just the same.”
WATCH: Hurricane Arthur on the move
To get real-time weather for your area, download the Skytracker weather app.
© Shaw Media, 2014