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Hurricane Earl

Nova Scotia - Sept 04, 2010

Tracking hurricane Earl as it made landfall along the Nova Scotia coastline.

  • At one point, Hurricane Earl was a dangerous category 4 storm as is approached the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It never did make a direct hit there or when it grazed Cape Cod... There was going to be only one place where this hurricane was going to actually make landfall and that was going to be in Nova Scotia. Of course, I had to be there for it and even though it was weakening due to colder waters further north and wind shear, I knew it was still going to be a force to be reckoned with and I liked the idea of being the only storm chasers able to take a direct hit. I teamed up with Mark Robinson and Brian Owsiak, both from The Weather Network.
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  • After a long drive from Toronto to Dartmouth, we made a brief stop in at the Canadian Hurricane Center. It was clear that Earl was going to be a significant storm when it eventually made it ashore the next morning. Passing through Halifax, I stopped at the CBC and did a quick interview for the national news and then we headed southwest where we thought Earl would hit.
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  • Early Saturday morning, we headed out to Cape Sable Island and the town of Barraco. The winds were very strong and increasing and the sea was getting violent. The tide was low, so flooding was not an immediate concern, but the track of Earl had shifted! We needed to get moving to the northeast and fast. A slight jog to the right meant that Earl was going to make landfall farther up the coast and we needed to get ahead of it if we wanted to be on the right side of the storm where the best wind and waves would be.
  • Hurricane Earl You Tube

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    Waves crash on the rocks at Baccaro, at the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia.

    At the Baccaro Lighthouse.

  • After driving for a couple of hours, we managed to beat the storm and arrive at one of the most iconic spots in Atlantic Canada, Peggy's Cove. The problem was that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had the the town blocked off. It was considered too dangerous to let people in. Because of our media credentials, we were eventually able to get into the town and see the massive waves crashing against the rocks.
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    The Iconic lighthouse at Peggy's Cove

    The driver of this truck flees the gigantic waves.

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    10 meter waves explode to over 100 feet high as they crash against the rocks at Peggy's Cove.

    The coastal road at Peggy's Cove.

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    Note the rocks in the parking lot. it's best to not get too close when the huge waves throw these on shore.

    Mark, on the phone with The Weather Network, reporting what we are seeing.

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    Wet and tired.

    After the storm. The sea at Peggy's Cove is still rough, but calming down.

    Earl Satellite Image

    A satellite image of Hurricane Earl making landfall in Nova Scotia.

  • There was some disagreement about the strength of the storm... The National Hurricane Center thought it had weakened down to a tropical storm, but Canadian Hurricane Center measured sustained hurricane force winds from a buoy off shore and the storm had a really nice structure on radar and satellite. From what I experienced, I would say that it was almost certainly a weak category 1 hurricane when it struck the coast.
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