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After stirring seas along the East Coast of the United States early in the week, Chris may pack more of a punch over Atlantic Canada later this week.
Hurricane Chris, located over Atlantic waters east of the Carolinas, will begin to pick up forward speed and strengthen during the middle and latter part of this week.
While the current track of Chris will spare the northeastern U.S. from facing more severe impacts than rough surf, it can put Newfoundland in line to be grazed or slammed by the storm.
Chris strengthened into a hurricane on Tuesday. However, the storm may lose its tropical characteristics as it passes over the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean.
That does not mean that residents of Newfoundland and marine interests around Nova Scotia should let their guard down. The weather late this week will resemble a powerful winter storm threatening the region with heavy rain and strong winds.
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The exact path of Chris will determine where the worst of the rain and wind will occur.
The quick pace of Chris should limit these hazards at any specific location to 6-12 hours.
"Given the current track, the highest wind gusts in Atlantic Canada would likely range from 64 to 97 km/h (40-60 mph), especially along the Atlantic-facing beaches of Newfoundland," AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said.
"Winds of this magnitude could down trees and power lines and potentially damage infrastructure," he said.
Gusts to 130 km/h (80 mph) are not out of the question, mainly over coastal communities.
The winds will stir dangerous seas over the northern Atlantic and into part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Boaters should anticipate remaining in port late this week. Ferry services may be halted for a time.
Chris can also bring a period of coastal flooding.
The heaviest rainfall is expected north and west of the center of the storm. Flash flooding may result, and motorists can face hazards of reduced visibility and a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.
There can be significant travel disruptions in Halifax, Sydney and especially in St. John’s, depending on where Chris unloads its heavy rain and strong winds.
As fast as Chris races through Atlantic Canada late this week, high pressure is expected to bring much calmer weather for any cleanup operations by next weekend.
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