Chris to surge northward, battering Nova Scotia, Newfoundland at week's end

After producing rough surf and deadly rip currents along the East Coast of the United States, Hurricane Chris will sweep northeastward into the Canadian Maritime.

The United States was spared any direct impacts from Chris early this week as it strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane about 250 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on Tuesday night.

However, strong rip currents produced by the storm's powerful winds proved fatal for a swimmer in North Carolina this week. Anyone headed to the shore along the mid-Atlantic or New England beaches this week should swim only where lifeguards are present and obey all posted signs and flags.

While Chris has been nearly stationary off the coast of North Carolina for a couple of days, it is expected to move swiftly northeastward at midweek and pick up speed as it sweeps along the shores of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Chris impacts 7/11
Chris impacts 7/11

Residents and tourists in Nova Scotia will notice an uptick in wind speeds as well as frequent bands of heavy rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday as the storm makes its closest approach to the province.

"It will eventually lose its tropical characteristics as it tracks over the colder water near Atlantic Canada later Thursday and Thursday night," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards.

Despite this, Chris will produce disruptively heavy rain and strong winds as it passes by Nova Scotia and takes aim at Newfoundland on Thursday.

"Damaging wind gusts of 80-95 km/h (50-60 mph) are expected across far southeastern Newfoundland over the Avalon Peninsula Thursday night and early Friday morning," Edwards said. He stressed that winds of this caliber can result in toppled trees, power lines and power disruptions.

"Gusts to 130 km/h (80 mph) are not out of the question, mainly over coastal communities," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Krissy Pydynowski.

A widespread 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rain is expected, with localized amounts up to 130 mm (5 inches) possible. This can lead to localized flooding and rising water levels on area creeks and rivers as well as coastal flooding. Rough surf will keep boats in port on at least Thursday and Friday, and ferry services may be halted for a time.

"The quick pace of Chris should limit these hazards at any specific location to 6-12 hours," Pydynowski said.

Chris is then expected to sweep into the open waters of the North Atlantic, allowing calmer weather to ensue over the Canadian Maritime.