Hurricane Fiona could be the strongest storm in Canada’s history, weather forecasters warn, as the East Coast braces itself for making landfall this weekend.
Warnings were issued Thursday night by the Canadian Hurricane Center, which called the storm “a historic weather event.”
AccuWeather chief meteorologist Jonathan Porter did his best, admitting that the hurricane “could be the storm of a lifetime for some people.”
Fiona, which made its way through the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, will reach eastern Canada based on its current trajectory, AccuWeather previously reported.
Experts say they are preparing for severe flooding, extreme hurricane winds and unexpected storm surges.
The hurricane is expected to be strongest on Prince Edward Island, off the coast of Quebec and Nova Scotia, southeastern Labrador and western Newfoundland.
On Friday, Fiona officially became a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the second strongest type of storm, categorized by sustained winds of 111 to 129 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
Category 3 storms can wreak havoc on both homes and businesses, with winds that can easily remove even the best-built homes, the agency says.
The felling of trees and disruption of water and electricity are also to be expected.
“Fiona will cause widespread power outages due to high winds, flooding from torrential rains and isolated storm surges, and massive seas off the coast and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” said Brett Anderson, Senior Meteorologist at AccuWeather.
Despite Hurricane Fiona’s status as a “storm of a lifetime,” there have been several more powerful weather events in recent years.
Hurricane Ida in 2015 and Hurricane Michael in 2021 both reached speeds of 150 miles per hour and above.
The two are currently listed as number four and number five on the list of strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall on the US
Overall, this current hurricane season has been relatively calm.
There were actually no hurricanes from July 3 through August.
Hurricane Fiona is also a prelude to potential Hurricane Hermine gaining strength in the Atlantic.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Tropical Depression 9 will turn into a Category 3 storm over the weekend and become a hurricane by Monday.
AccuWeather’s extreme meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer tweeted, “NHC now shows a MAJOR HURRICANE next Wednesday morning as it makes landfall in southwest Florida! #TD9 #Hermine.”