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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 2000

Prepared by: Peter Bowyer

For the first time since 1996, yet the third time since 1995, a hurricane made landfall in Atlantic Canada*.

2000 Storm Tracks Image
2000 Storm Tracks Image

Hurricane Michael, which went ashore over southern Newfoundland in October, was among the eight tropical or post-tropical cyclones to affect the region during 2000.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) experienced a busy season in two respects: the most storms to enter the region since 1996 and the most bulletins issued since 1995.

The CHC changed the issue times of its bulletins prior to the start of the 2000 season.

The 6-hourly issue times are: 0000Z; 0600Z; 1200 and 1800Z

The 3-hourly issue times include, in addition to those above, 0300Z; 0900Z; 1500Z and 2100Z.

Bulletin Summaries for 1995-2000
Bulletin Summaries200019991998199719961995
Prognostic Messages
(FXCN05 CWHX)
113
70
45
26
43
90
Hurricane Information Statements
(WTCN31/71 CWHX)
109
71
42
26
48
55
Total
222
141
87
52
91
145

 

Alberto (August 3–23)

After flirting with the CHC Response Zone (RZ) from August 12 to August 14, Hurricane Alberto followed a clockwise loop and entered the CHC RZ on the afternoon of August 21. Though no effects were felt over land, strong winds and high seas were experienced over the southeast marine areas of Atlantic Canada. Maximum winds were 156 km/h while highest significant wave heights were 12 to 13 metres.

Florence (September 10–17)

Hurricane Florence entered the CHC RZ during the afternoon of September 16, with maximum winds of 120 km/h and significant wave heights of 7–8 metres. Shortly thereafter, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm and weakened steadily while tracking northward and passing just east of Newfoundland. Numerous inland and marine warnings were issued by both the Maritimes Weather Centre and the Newfoundland Weather Centre. There were no significant effects on land due to this weakening storm.

Gordon (September 14–18)

Post-tropical Cyclone Gordon entered the CHC RZ during the late afternoon of September 19. After tracking northeastwards over the next two days, Gordon weakened considerably. South of Nova Scotia, it was difficult to locate the storm; thus, bulletins were ceased on September 21. No significant effects were felt from Gordon.

Helene (September 15–25)

Tropical Storm Helene entered the CHC RZ during the afternoon of September 24. Maximum wind speeds at that time were 93 km/h. Helene crossed the southern marine waters of Atlantic Canada over the next 36 hours, giving significant wave heights of 6–7 metres, then quickly moved east of the district. No significant effects were felt over land.

Isaac (September 21–October 1)

Hurricane Isaac briefly touched the southeast corner of the CHC RZ during the evening of September 31 and the morning of October 1. Maximum wind speeds at the time were 120 km/h. Significant wave heights of 15–16 metres were analyzed. No significant effects were experienced over land.

Leslie (October 4–8)

Leslie entered the CHC RZ on October 7 as a tropical storm and was identified as being post‑tropical shortly thereafter. Post-tropical Storm Leslie tracked across the southern marine areas before crossing Newfoundland on October 9. Only minor effects were felt from Leslie. Wind speeds were only about 65 km/h and significant wave heights were near 5 metres. Rainfall amounts over eastern Newfoundland were in the 20–30 mm range.

Michael (October 15–19)

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Harbour Breton, Newfoundland, during the evening of October 19*. It was the first hurricane to make landfall in that province since Luis in September 1995. The maximum wind speeds reported with Michael were between 128 and 150 km/h. A peak gust of 172 km/h was reported at St. Lawrence. Michael rapidly crossed central Newfoundland heading in a north-northeasterly direction. Rainfall amounts to the left of the track were in the 35–60 mm range with typical amounts of 20–30 mm to the right. Englee, on the east side of the Northern Peninsula, reported 75 mm. From 45 to 65 mm were also reported over parts of the eastern Maritime provinces. Prior to landfall, significant wave heights were 7‑8 metres. The peak wave height reported was 16.9 metres at Buoy 44139. There were numerous reports of damage from all parts of Newfoundland. Most of the damage, however, was due to high winds and was reported from small communities east of where landfall occurred. Both the Maritimes Weather Centre and the Newfoundland Weather Centre were busy with Michael, issuing numerous inland and marine warnings/advisories.

* At the time of this report, the exact timing of Michael’s transition to extra-tropical was under debate; whether it was prior to, or following, the transition was within a few hours of landfall.

Unnamed Post-tropical Cyclone (October 25–30)

An unnamed tropical cyclone entered the CHC RZ during the morning hours of October 28 and subsequently stalled over eastern Nova Scotia on October 30. Maximum wind speeds reached 72 km/h with a peak (local) wind of 84 km/h over the Cape Breton Highlands. Maximum seas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were measured near 12 m, and a storm surge of near 1.5 m was reported along the north coast of Prince Edward Island and the southeast coast of New Brunswick. The end result was extensive and damaging coastal flooding.