Sept. 21 (UPI) — Less than one week after feeling the full force of Hurricane Paulette, residents of Bermuda were preparing for a strike from powerful Hurricane Teddy, which unlike Paulette, may take a path that could eventually bring impacts to Atlantic Canada and perhaps the northeastern United States.
Paulette brought a wind gust of 117 mph to Bermuda and an island-wide power outage when it passed directly overhead Sunday night into early Monday. More than 20,000 customers were without power following Paulette’s approach.
After passing to the east of Bermuda through Monday, powerful Hurricane Teddy will set its sights on Atlantic Canada for the middle of the week.
Teddy first developed in the central Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 12. On Friday night, Teddy strengthened into a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Laura is the only other Atlantic storm to achieve major hurricane status so far this season.
As of 2 a.m. AST Monday, the storm was about 195 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It was traveling north at 5 mph.
The government of Bermuda issued a tropical storm warning for the island nation while the Canadian Hurricane Center extended the tropical storm watch east from Canso to Main-a-Dieu, Nova Scotia.
“Some slight strengthening is possible Monday night while Teddy begins to interact with an approaching frontal system,” the NHC advisory said. “Although gradual weakening is forecast to being mid-week, the cyclone is expected to remain a large and powerful hurricane Tuesday, then become a strong post-tropical cyclone when it nears Nova Scotia by Wednesday morning.”
Teddy is currently forecast to be more intense than Paulette as it makes its closest approach to Bermuda.
The impacts, however, will depend on how close the center of the storm passes to the islands. The closer the center of the storm, the greater the impacts will be.
AccuWeather’s current Eye Path takes Teddy just east of the islands. This would spare Bermuda from the worst conditions Teddy has to offer. Should the track shift west, the core of strongest wind and heaviest rain could impact the islands.
However, even a glancing blow by Teddy can still have significant impact on the islands due to the hurricane’s current large size.
After passing Bermuda, Teddy is expected to continue to meander on a generally northern track, which would cause the hurricane to approach Atlantic Canada or northern New England around Tuesday afternoon.
“If Teddy takes a northerly track, areas from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland would be the most likely to see impacts. Teddy may still be a hurricane at this time with impacts including potentially damaging wind gusts, heavy rainfall and pounding surf,” Miller explained.
On this track, 2-4 inches of rain would be widespread across Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Locally heavier rainfall could fall where the center of the storm tracks.
If Teddy makes landfall as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, widespread wind damage and power outages would result.
Dorian tracked across Atlantic Canada in early September of 2019 and brought widespread wind damage to Atlantic Canada. Teddy has the potential to bring similar results should it remain on its current forecast track.
Residents should begin to make appropriate preparations as this appears to be the most likely scenario.
Another scenario would have Teddy track farther to the east and miss Atlantic Canada on the storm’s trek into the North Atlantic.
These appear to be the two most likely scenarios.
“There remains the chance that Teddy is pulled more to the northwest and could impact northern New England before curving across Atlantic Canada and into the North Atlantic,” Miller said.
This could bring strong winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding to much of the New England coastline.
A hurricane has never hit Maine from any direction other than from the southwest, according to AccuWeather Senior Weather Editor Jesse Ferrell.
“Only eight hurricanes have hit Maine on record with only three of those since 1950,” Ferrell said. “Bob in 1991 was the most recent and only the Unnamed 1869 hurricane, Bob and Gerda from 1969 were Category 2 when they hit with the remaining storms being Category 1 strength.”
According to Colorado State University Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, the average date for the second major hurricane formation in the Atlantic is Oct. 3.
Regardless of the final track and impacts from Teddy, even if the hurricane remains out to sea, forecasters warn that rough surf and dangerous rip currents are possible along the New England and mid-Atlantic coasts this weekend and early next week.
Small craft should avoid venturing too far offshore as monstrous waves could develop from and propagate toward the coast from the large hurricane.