HALIFAX — Hurricane Bill is headed toward Canada’s East Coast, but it’s too soon to predict if the storm will make landfall, Environment Canada says.
Peter Bowyer, a supervisor at the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said the storm is expected to enter the region or its adjacent waters late Sunday — but even the time frame was in doubt.
“We will never use the word ’definite’ on a five-day forecast, especially when it comes to tropical storms or hurricanes,” Bowyer said in an interview.
When asked what residents should be doing to prepare for the storm, Bowyer stressed that storms like Bill often stay offshore.
“What they could be doing right now is not freaking out completely,” he said.
“But at the same time, we do have a storm that all the forecasts are indicating is heading in the direction of Atlantic Canada some time for late weekend.”
That means people in the region should remain calm, but take the time to get prepared, he said.
“What people can be doing right now is making sure that they’re ready for hurricane season,” said Bowyer.
“It’s no longer a theoretical discussion. There’s one on the map. We’re looking at it. It’s name is Bill and he could be headed in our direction.”
Bill, the second named storm of the hurricane season, was well south of Bermuda on Wednesday. It was expected to swing past the eastern edge of the Caribbean before heading north.
With maximum sustained winds clocked at 217 kilometres per hour, Bill was classed as a powerful Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Bowyer says some computer models suggest the storm will track through the Bay of Fundy, but others indicate it will stay out at sea.
As of Wednesday, the hurricane was headed northwest at about 25 kilometres per hour, Bowyer said.
Environment Canada said it expects to issue its first bulletin about Bill today.