UPDATE: As of noon on Saturday, Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia as a Category 1 storm. Follow along here for the latest.
As hurricane Dorian approaches Atlantic Canada, officials are warning residents to be proactive ahead of the storm’s arrival.
The Category 1 storm is poised to continue its trek north after ravaging parts of the Bahamas and causing flooding and power outages in the Carolinas.
Where and when is Dorian expected to hit Canada?
Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan said the storm is picking up speed along the way.
Dorian is forecast to make landfall in or near Halifax on Saturday evening, but the whole region will feel it.
“No part of Atlantic Canada will be spared by this storm,” Quinlan said.
“Heavy rains, strong winds and potentially even some snow being generated at higher elevation areas in extreme eastern Quebec and southern Labrador (are) possible with this hurricane.”
Various weather advisories for hurricanes, tropical cyclones, wind and rainfall are in place throughout the region.
A hurricane warning is in effect for central and eastern Nova Scotia, along with watches in place for the western part of the province.
Southeastern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands and northwestern Newfoundland are also under weather watches or warnings.
Dorian could also impact regions in Quebec. The Îles-de-la-Madeleine are under a hurricane watch.
A tropical cyclone statement has also been issued for the Anticosti, Blanc-Sablon and Chevery areas. Powerful winds and heavy rain are expected for parts of Quebec’s Lower North Shore.
What is the impact expected to be?
As Global News meteorologist Ross Hull explains, Dorian appears to be gaining strength.
“Earlier there were some questions as to when Dorian would undergo a transition to a powerful extratropical low, but as of the latest model guidance it looks like Dorian will remain a hurricane as it makes landfall in Nova Scotia Saturday,” he said.
“In fact, not only remaining a hurricane but intensifying to a Category 2 storm bringing sustained winds of 150 km/h with higher wind gusts likely, especially along exposed coastal areas.”
WATCH: Southeast New Brunswickers prepare for Dorian’s arrival
Canada hasn’t had a Category 2 hurricane in 16 years, Quinlan pointed out. Hurricane Juan wrought havoc in Nova Scotia in 2003, knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands and damaging an estimated 100 million trees.
But high winds won’t be the only issue.
Hull said the western flank of the storm could yield 100 to 150-plus mm of rain for some areas and wave heights of 10 to 15 metres.
“Dorian will have a major impact on Nova Scotia, South and Southeast New Brunswick, P.E.I. and then in Western Newfoundland Sunday as a powerful extratropical low,” he said.
Forecasters also warned of potential tree damage in certain areas of Atlantic Canada, in particular Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region, where trees aren’t as firmly rooted as they are when the ground is frozen in the winter.
The region could also face flooding on Saturday evening due to storm surges.
How are provinces preparing?
Nova Scotia Power said it was mobilizing close to 1,000 personnel and deploying resources in preparation for the storm. In addition, an emergency operations centre will be set up in the province by noon on Friday.
“Our preparations include bringing in several hundred power line technicians from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec,” the utility’s president and CEO Karen Hutt said in a news release.
“As well, we will have forestry crews, planners, damage assessors, engineers, supervisors, communication experts and customer care representatives at the ready.”
Officials say everyone in affected areas should have enough food, water, medication and supplies for at least 72 hours.
— With files from the Canadian Press and Kalina Laframboise