Earl has been downgraded to a tropical storm as of 12am ADT.
Check out our new and improved Skywatcher page! Everything you need to track Earl's progress through Nova Scotia including live video, satellite imagery and social media trending feeds. Check it out here.
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Android, and PalmOS device users can check in on the live discussion area of Skywatcher here.
Provincial Release at 5:00pm ADT From Emergency Management Office
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE--Preparations Urged as Hurricane Earl Moves Closer to Nova Scotia
All three levels of government and partner organizations, including utilities, are working collaboratively to ensure the safety of Nova Scotians.
Environment Canada advises that Hurricane Earl will likely have an effect on the province beginning the evening of Friday, Sept. 3 and through the weekend.
Today a hurricane watch was issued for Digby, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Annapolis, Halifax, Hants, Kings and Lunenburg counties, as well as the Fundy side of Colchester and Cumberland counties.
"I encourage all Nova Scotians to continue to prepare for the potential of Hurricane Earl making landfall in Nova Scotia," said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Emergency Management. "As this storm moves towards us, it continues to be very powerful. It's imperative that people are prepared."
As the storm moves closer to the province, particularly in the 24-hours before arrival, its potential impact and strength will become clearer. EMO will then be better able to do risk assessments and provide more specific guidance to Nova Scotians and other partners.
Nova Scotians have been encouraged to take some basic steps to prepare for an emergency, including having an emergency kit, cash, family contact information and shelter ready.
"People should also begin to look at whether they have enough propane on hand to operate a barbecue, that their vehicles are fully fuelled and cellphones are charged," said Ms. Jennex. "In the event of an emergency, many of the modern conveniences we rely upon are taken away."
People are reminded that safety should be the top priority during an emergency. The use of candles as a light source can be extremely dangerous. Barbecues and camping stoves should never be used indoors. When using a generator, closely follow all operating instructions.
Keeping in mind that hurricanes are unpredictable, Nova Scotians should reconsider weekend plans, especially outdoor activities. Event organizers across the province are advised to continue to closely monitor weather and public safety advisories.
Government departments, led by EMO, continue to prepare for the storm. EMO will open the Joint Emergency Operations Centre and staff it 24/7, if required.
"We have been working closely with government departments and federal, municipal and other partners to ensure that everything is in place in the event of Hurricane Earl," said Mike Myette, director of emergency services at EMO. "Through these partnerships, we will work collaboratively to provide an effective response."
Through Check-in Nova Scotia and Visitor Information Services, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage is working to inform visitors to the province of the impending weather. Tourists in the area should consider making alternate arrangements if travel is not possible. Visitors needing accommodation help can contact 1-800-565-0000 or visit a Visitor Information Centre.
Halifax Stanfield International Airport is monitoring weather and travellers are advised to check with airlines for up-to-date information and flight schedule changes. A travel advisory on the airport's website (www.flyhalifax.com) will be updated throughout the weekend and the Visitor Information Centre in the terminal is informing people arriving of impending weather conditions.
The Department of Natural Resources is informing provincial park campers of the storm potential and ensuring their needs are met. Provincial parks and beaches may be closed, if warranted. Those cancelling provincial parks reservations this weekend will be fully reimbursed.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is working to ensure crews are mobilized, when and where, the storm may hit. EMO is preparing to deploy resources to areas that may be most affected.
Visit the EMO website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo for more emergency preparedness information.
Statement from Environment Canada at 3am Thursday
Earl is now rounding the westernmost flank of the subtropical ridge hence will take on an more northward motion through the day. Thereafter it will be increasingly guided by an upper trough moving through the Great Lakes. This will cause it to accelerate through Atlantic Canada as it weakens. Given the high potential temperatures Of the airmass over the Maritimes.. Earl will continue to hold onto its tropical characteristics for a long time as it loses its Symmetry. As pointed out in previous messages.. Water temperatures south of Nova Scotia are above normal by 2 to 4 degrees and have Been persistently warm during the latter part of August. This Factor will play into our forecast of intensity as the Storm moves over those waters. Ultimately.. The Great Lakes trough will advance through Eastern Canada and steadily rob Earl of its energy as Earl becomes gradually incorporated into this feature. Frictional degradation is another factor which will weaken Earl. A multitude of numerical models continue to show little Significant change on Earl's forecast track toward Atlantic Canada. As a result our confidence is increasing that Earl will move into Southern Nova Scotia Saturday morning. However.. Our experience shows that we must cautious at the same time. Though our envelope Of possibiliies on Earl's track is diminishing.. Earl could end Up as far west as the Bay of Fundy or as far east as Cape Breton Island. The official track map posted on our websites.. Although specific in terms of a line marked with storm positions at specific times and Showing Earl as a landfalling category-one hurricane..Simply represents the average of many factors. At issue time.. An analysis of the probabilistic computer models Can not be completed. The next issue of our message Will likely show an increase in the statistical probabilities assocated with Earl. The exact numbers will be fleshed out in the next bulletin.
Statement from Environment Canada at 9pm Wednesday
Satellite imagery throughout the afternoon shows Earl with good outflow in most quadrants and a well defined eye in both the visible and ir imagery. The dry air to the northwest of Earl as seen On the water vapour channel has wrapped itself around the west and South quadrants of the storm.. But has had little apparent effect on its intensity so far. An air force recon into Earl this afternoon found slightly higher flight level winds and a surface pressure of 941 MB which support the slight adjustment in initial intensity to 115 knots. No change to previous track or thought process. Earl continues to round the subtropical ridge entrenched over the Atlantic. This means Earl will continue its northwestward track in the near term before turning more northward thereafter. The approach of a trough from The west will cause Earl to accelerate as it moves toward Atlantic Canada. This trough is not predicted by models to be highly Mobile..And in fact is predicted to be associated with an upper low over Northern Ontario. Details of this feature will be important in the track rationale. Numerical model guidance shows a majority of the model tracks in Better agreement over canadian territory. However...It is Emphasized that there is still a wide range of possible track Scenarios..From a potential landfall as far west as Maine to as far east as Cape Breton Island. The official track posted on our websites..Although specific in Terms of a line with storm positions at specific times and as a Landfalling category-one hurricane..Simply represents the average of many factors. Water temperatures south of Nova Scotia are above normal by 2 to 4 degrees and have been persistently warm during the latter part of August. This factor will play into our forecast of intensity as the storm moves over those waters. Also Earl will be moving into a pre-existing tropical airmass as is being experienced over Eastern Canada recently. That could permit Earl to retain more tropical characteristics as it enters our region. Probabilistic computer models generally show about a 80 percent chance of at least gale-force winds (60 to 70 km/h) over land in Nova Scotia. Our statistical guidance indicates about an 85 percent Chance of Earl entering canadian forecast waters as a hurricane..And 40 to 50 percent chance of a landfalling hurricane in Nova Scotia. There is about a 20 percent chance of Earl being at hurricane status After crossing Nova Scotia into Prince Edward Island..Keeping in Mind that the track forecast is not certain. Landfall time could be As early as overnight Friday into Saturday morning..To sometime Saturday afternoon.
For full analysis of the storm, visit http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/hurricane/statements_e.html
Consensus now is when Earl hits Nova Scotia, it will do so as a category 1 hurricane or lower. (And a tropical storm by the time it reaches HRM) The Eastern US is also on alert as Earl's track is "wobbly" and could change at any time.
The Red Cross is on standby, readying its 900 disaster volunteers in Atlantic Canada. The Emergency Measures Organization is urging residents to be prepared.
We should have a much clearer picture of what we're in for by Thursday evening into Friday morning.
Hurricane Earl continues to track a direct landfall on Nova Scotia sometime on Saturday. Officials at the Canadian Hurricane Centre now say that this storm will most definitely affect the Province, but are still remaining vague on their thoughts as it is stil at least four days away from our area.
It's entirely too early to panic (although the media would like you to think otherwise) but many major orgs are reporting that Hurricane Earl could be set to join us here in Nova Scotia at the end of the week.
Earl should get to the Maritimes on Saturday morning as a Category 2 hurricane, the same strength as Hurricane Juan in 2003.
We'll keep you posted.