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Hurricane Larry's track shifts west, residents of Newfoundland warned to prepare

HALIFAX — Hurricane Larry could make landfall in eastern Newfoundland late Friday or early Saturday, but even if its centre misses the island, the province can expect large waves and plenty of rain and wind.
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HALIFAX — Hurricane Larry could make landfall in eastern Newfoundland late Friday or early Saturday, but even if its centre misses the island, the province can expect large waves and plenty of rain and wind.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax issued a tropical cyclone chart this morning showing the storm crossing over the island's Avalon Peninsula around 3 a.m. on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds expected at 130 kilometres per hour — the same as a Category 1 hurricane.

"We anticipate a period of heavy rainfall lasting a few hours as the storm tracks through, even if the centre passes offshore to the east of the Avalon," the centre said in a statement.

"A period of strong winds of similar duration … will occur primarily on its eastern side. This is where the track will be critical as to whether those highest winds will overspread land or remain offshore."

Larry was moving southeast of Bermuda early Wednesday, generating sustained winds at 185 km/h — a Category 3 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami issued a bulletin saying a tropical storm watch was in effect for Bermuda, and the federal agency advised those in southeastern Newfoundland to monitor the storm's progress.

The hurricane is not expected to have much of an impact on the rest of Atlantic Canada, though rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday.

"Larry is currently forecast to enter Canadian offshore territory as a Category 2 hurricane (winds of 155 km/h) but those winds are expected to diminish quickly as the storm moves over cooler water and the wind field spreads out," the centre said.

Larry is expected to transition to a less-organized post-tropical storm with Category 1 winds near 130 km/h as it approaches Newfoundland, but sustained winds that strong may not occur over land, the centre said.

Ahead of the storm, large ocean swells are expected to appear along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast and southern Newfoundland on Thursday. "These waves will be particularly large on Friday, presenting a hazard to those close to the water," the centre said.

"As the storm approaches eastern Newfoundland on Friday evening, dangerous breaking waves are expected to arrive along the southern Avalon Peninsula, even if the centre tracks a bit to the east."

A storm surge may also accompany the storm, depending on the hurricane's track.

Mariners are being warned the Grand Banks area will experience the strongest winds and the biggest waves, with the potential for 15-metre seas entering the southern part of the region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2021.

Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press