Hurricane Fiona could be the strongest storm in Canada’s history, weather forecasters have warned, as the East Coast braces itself for landfall this weekend.
Warnings were issued on Thursday night by the Canadian Hurricane Center, which called the storm “a landmark weather event.”
AccuWeather chief meteorologist Jonathan Porter doubled down and admitted the hurricane “could be the storm of a lifetime for some people.”
Fiona, which ripped its way through the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, is set to hit Eastern Canada based on its current trajectory, AccuWeather previously reported.
Experts say to prepare for severe flooding, extreme hurricane winds and unexpected surges of the storm.
The hurricane is expected to be most severe at Prince Edward Island, coastal Quebec and Nova Scotia, the southeastern portion of Labrador and western Newfoundland.
On Friday, Fiona officially became a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is 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 cause major damage to both homes and businesses, with winds that can easily remove roof decking off even the most well-constructed homes, according to the agency.
The uprooting of trees and disruption of water and electricity are also to be expected.
“Fiona will bring widespread power outages due to high winds, flooding due to torrential rain and isolated storm surge and massive seas offshore and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” said Brett Anderson, Senior Meteorologist at AccuWeather.
Despite Hurricane Fiona’s “storm of a lifetime” status, there have been several more powerful weather events in recent years.
Hurricane Ida in 2015 and Hurricane Michael in 2021 both reached speed of 150 miles per hour and higher.
The two are currently listed as number four and number five on the list of strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall on the U.S.
Overall, this current hurricane season has been relatively quiet.
From July 3 through the entirety August, there were actually no hurricanes.
Hurricane Fiona is also a prelude to potential Hurricane Hermine that is gathering strength in the Atlantic.
AccuWeather’s extreme meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer tweeted: “NHC now shows a MAJOR HURRICANE at landfall southwestern Florida next week Wednesday morning! #TD9 #Hermine.”