Canadian Hurricane Centre predicts ‘active’ season in the months ahead

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WATCH: After a "very active" hurricane season last year, the Canadian Hurricane Centre is predicting much of the same this year. Hurricane season starts June 1 -- and Canada’s top hurricane tracker says Canadians should expect anywhere from three to six major hurricanes to enter our region. Ashley Field reports. – May 24, 2022

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says it’s expecting the 2022 hurricane season to be similar to the last couple of years.

In a press conference, Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud said there is a 65 per cent probability of an active hurricane season in 2022, though it’s yet to be determined how many storms will affect Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.

Read more: Deadly storm in Ontario, Quebec wreaks havoc on urban trees

Robichaud said based on the current water temperatures in the Atlantic, the probabilities “are pretty good that we’re going to see an active season overall in the Atlantic.”

“It’s impossible to say where these storms are going to go at this particular point in time,” said Robichaud when asked about the likelihood of Atlantic Canada being impacted by the upcoming hurricane season.

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“Where these storms go depends on the weather of the day, and that’s what we’re not able to predict this far in advance.”

Know your risk

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NAOO) projected there will be 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 expected to reach hurricane status, with three to six likely to reach major hurricane status.

“Obviously someone who lives right out on the coast is going to have some other hazards to deal with as someone who lives inland and is not subject to storm surge,” said Robichaud, when asked how Atlantic Canadians can prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

“The first thing to do is analyze your situation, know your risk, and then develop a plan that covers those risks.”

Read more: Thousands still without power after storm in Ontario, Quebec that left at least 10 dead

The Atlantic hurricane season produced 21 named storms and seven hurricanes in 2021.

The 2021 season was the third most active season on record. The largest tally was recorded the previous year, which produced 30 named storms, surpassing the previous high of 28 in 2005.

The most recent hurricane to significantly impact Nova Scotians was Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which caused more than 400,000 people to experience power outages as a result of the storm. Some rural areas were without power for up to nine days.

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Provinces saw excessive rainfall as Hurricane Ida made its way through Atlantic Canada in September 2021. Total rainfall had risen to as high as 121 millimetres in Brier Island, N.S., with residents of Grand Manan, N.B., experiencing up to 94 millimetres of rain.

Read more: 3 more deaths confirmed following Ontario storm: police

Despite the conditions brought forth by Ida, Hurricane Larry left the most significant mark on Atlantic Canada in 2021.

In September, some areas of Newfoundland and Labrador experienced wind gusts of up to 182 km/h. About 61,000 residents encountered power outages as the Category 1 storm swept throughout the province’s coast.

According to World Data, hurricanes occur across Canada about five times a year on average. The hardest-hit regions are Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

Each storm is rated according to the intensity of sustained winds on a scale of one to five. A hurricane that falls under Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.”

This projection comes after a powerful storm swept through Ontario on Saturday. At least 10 people died as a result of the storm.

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