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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1998

Prepared by: Craig Clarke

After the relatively quiet tropical cyclone season of 1997, the 1998 season saw thirteen named storms, despite a late start; of these, nine became hurricanes.

1998 Storm Tracks Image
1998 Storm Tracks Image

Two storms entered the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) Area of Responsibility (AOR). Although this was but half the total from 1997, the nature of these storms kept the CHC very busy, with 87 bulletins issued. In addition, the Maritimes Weather Centre (MWC) and the Newfoundland Weather Centre (NWC) issued numerous marine warnings and advisories. Some inland warnings and advisories were also issued.

Bulletin Summaries for 1997-1998
Bulletin Summaries1998 Bulletin1997 Bulletin
Prognostic Messages
(FXCN05 CWHX)
45
26
Hurricane Information Statements
(WTCN31/71 CWHX)
42
26
Total
87
52

 

Bonnie (August 19–30)

After briefly making landfall over North Carolina on August 27, Hurricane Bonnie fell under the influence of the mid-latitude upper-level westerlies and turned towards the northeast, entering the CHC Response Zone (RZ) during the afternoon of August 28. At that time, Bonnie was downgraded to a tropical storm. Thereafter, Bonnie tracked east-northeastward, entering the CHC AOR during the afternoon of August 29. During the next 24–36 hours, the centre of the storm passed about 120 nanometres (222 kilometres) southeast of Nova Scotia and about 100 nanometres (185 kilometres) south of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Bonnie remained a tropical storm throughout its time in the CHC AOR.

The first CHC bulletin for the 1998 hurricane season was issued during the morning of August 25. Gale and storm warnings were issued for offshore waters by both the MWC and the NWC. Inland wind and rainfall warnings were also issued by the MWC.

Along the coast of Nova Scotia, rainfall amounts were 15–25 mm. Maximum wind speeds were 30–40 knots (56–74 km/h) with gusts of 40–50 knots (74–93 km/h). Over the Cape Breton Highlands of Nova Scotia, a gust of 55 knots (102 km/h) was reported. Offshore, a maximum wind speed of 55 knots (93 km/h) with a gust to 62 knots (115 km/h) was recorded at the West Scotian Slope buoy. At Sable Island, closer to Bonnie’s track, 33 mm of rain were reported. The highest significant wave height was 10.8 metres at the East Scotian Slope buoy. A maximum wave height of 17.9 metres was recorded at the Laurentian Fan buoy. Reports throughout the area suggested a minimum sea level pressure of about 987 hPa.

As Bonnie passed south of Newfoundland, its minimum central pressure had risen to about 995 hPa. The effects on land were minimal as most of the precipitation and strong winds remained just off the southeast coast of the Avalon Peninsula. Offshore, a maximum wind speed of 40 knots (74 km/h) with a gust to 54 knots (100 km/h) was recorded at the Southwestern Grand Banks buoy. The maximum significant wave height from the same buoy was 14.4 metres.

Danielle (August 24–September 4)

Moving northeastward, well off the North American seaboard, Hurricane Danielle entered the CHC RZ during the morning of September 3. Thereafter, Danielle continued northeastward, with its centre passing about 300 nanometres (555 kilometres) southeast of Nova Scotia before turning east-northeastward, passing about 150 nanometres (278 kilometres) south of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Hurricane Danielle was analyzed as post-tropical during the evening of September 3 and moved out of the CHC AOR during the morning of September 4.

The CHC began issuing bulletins on Danielle during the morning hours of August 31. Gale and storm warnings were issued for offshore waters by both the MWC and the NWC. A hurricane‑force wind warning was also issued by the NWC for the Southern Grand Banks areas.

The effects of Danielle on the mainland of Nova Scotia were minimal. No inland warnings or advisories were issued for the Maritime provinces. The track of Danielle brought the storm almost directly over the Laurentian Fan buoy, where a maximum wind speed of 56 knots (104 km/h) with a gust to 77 knots (142 km/h) was recorded. Maximum wave heights due to Danielle were reported as 26.9 metres by the Laurentian Fan buoy. Also from this buoy, a minimum sea level pressure of 962.5 hPa was recorded.

As Danielle passed south of Newfoundland, a maximum offshore wind speed of 46 knots (85 km/h) with a gust to 62 knots (115 km/h) was recorded at the Southwest Grand Banks buoy. This same buoy recorded a minimum central pressure of less than 972 hPa. Also, a maximum wind speed of 50 knots (93 km/h) was reported at the Hibernia drilling site located about 90 nanometres (167 kilometres) north of the storm’s track. A rainfall advisory was issued by the NWC for both the Avalon and Burin peninsulas of Newfoundland. Rainfall amounts, however, for the most affected area (extreme southeastern portion of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland), are unavailable.