Hurricane Lee Approaches New England and Canada

Lee transitioned to a post-tropical cyclone from a hurricane early Saturday, and despite weakening slightly, it was still producing winds near hurricane-force as it moved “very near Nova Scotia,” the Hurricane Center forecasters said. The cyclone was causing tropical storm conditions along the province and coastal Massachusetts just hours before its expected landfall in Canada.

Tropical storm warnings are still in effect for parts of Canada, including all of Nova Scotia, and a warning for a wide stretch of coastal southern New England was discontinued on Saturday morning. Hurricane and tropical storm watches were in effect elsewhere in Canada.

New England was likely to experience weather similar to what occurs during a nor’easter, said Andrew Loconto, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston. During such storms, which typically occur in late fall and through the winter, large waves crash ashore and often flood coastal roads.

The diminished storm still has been producing strong tropical-storm-force winds that have extended far from its epicenter and have reached the coastline. And for areas inland, it is “going to be a pretty breezy day,” Mr. Loconto said.

Leaves are still on many trees, and abundant rain over the last several weeks could make some areas more susceptible to wind damage. Jon Breed, a spokesman for Central Maine Power, said that soil erosion caused by record rainfall means trees are less securely rooted in the ground, which could lead to power outages.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, Lee was about 80 miles south-southeast of Eastport, Maine, and 150 miles west-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was moving north at 22

The core of Lee is near the west coast of Nova Scotia, the Hurricane Center said and will likely brush the western portion of the province during the next couple of hours. This afternoon, it will move inland, east of the U.S.-Canada border.

These strongest winds are likely to occur over the Gulf of Maine and may affect portions of far northeastern Maine and Nova Scotia. Such winds can cause roof damage to homes, topple trees and down power lines.

With the strongest threat of the storm expected in Nova Scotia, the hurricane watch was discontinued for Maine, but a tropical storm warning still remains in place. Gov. Janet T. Mills of Maine declared a state of emergency on Thursday, and the White House ordered federal assistance to the state.

As the storm headed north over cooler water, Lee transitioned from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone. Tropical systems like hurricanes get their energy from warm ocean temperatures and their cores expel that energy upward into the atmosphere. A typical storm system that moves across the United States will get energy from competing air masses of cooler and warmer air. When forecasters say that a storm has transitioned to post-tropical, it has morphed into a more typical storm system with warm and cold fronts.

This process typically weakens a storm and expands how far the damaging winds stretch. The scope of Lee’s wind field was already on the wider side for a hurricane, and it was expected to get a bit larger before landfall.

In Canada, officials are concerned that because of Lee’s broadness, it is likely to affect most of the Maritime Provinces and parts of eastern Quebec.

Western Nova Scotia faces some of the highest possible impacts from Lee, Environment Canada said.

By Saturday evening, the worst of Lee will have exited New England. By Sunday night, it will have pushed through most of eastern Canada.

Reporting was contributed by Sydney Cromwell, Johnny Diaz, Melina Delkic, Mike Ives, Orlando Mayorquin, Anastasia Marks, Eduardo Medina, Chris Stanford, John Yoon and Derrick Bryson Taylor.

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