List of Canada hurricanes

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Hurricane Juan, one of Canada's most destructive hurricanes, approaches Halifax, Nova Scotia.

A Canadian hurricane is a tropical cyclone originating in the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean affecting the country of Canada. Canada is usually only hit with weak storms, due to the generally cool waters immediately offshore. However, some hurricanes can strike the area full force as the warm Gulf Stream extends fairly close to Atlantic Canada. Due to the cool waters for a great distance from the Pacific coast of Canada, there has never been a storm of any intensity to directly affect the Pacific side, with the only exception being the remnants of Typhoon Freda that were absorbed by the Columbus Day Storm of 1962.

Sometimes, a hurricane can make landfall in the United States and continue northward to dissipate over (or partially over) Canada. Only a handful of storms that have taken this path were devastating in Canada. The example for this is Hurricane Hazel.

Many extratropical remnants of tropical cyclones have entered Canada. They are not included in this list unless they were particularly notable. Storms that have entered Canada from the U.S. after landfall are omitted from these lists, exceptions being devastating, or notable cyclones.

This article includes hurricanes that affected Newfoundland and Labrador prior to its entry into Canada in 1949, and hurricanes that affected any Canadian provinces before confederation in 1867.

List of tropical cyclones[edit]

These cyclones have either made a direct landfall in Canada, or made a notable close approach as a tropical cyclone.

Pre 1900[edit]

Many tropical storms and hurricanes struck Canada during this time. The most damaging one struck Newfoundland in September 1775, killing thousands. To shorten this particular list, insignificant tropical storms and depressions are omitted.

  • September 9, 1775: The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775 killed over 4,000 in Newfoundland. Not only is it the earliest recorded Canadian hurricane, it is also by far the deadliest.
  • October 10–11, 1804: The Storm of October 1804 unusually blanketed parts of Canada with snow after striking New England.
  • August 23, 1863: A category one hit Nova Scotia just before losing tropical characteristics, killing at least 80.
  • September 23–24, 1866: A hurricane hit Newfoundland after weakening from a category 2.
  • October 5, 1869: The 1869 Saxby Gale struck Canada's Bay of Fundy region damaging parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • October 13, 1871: A hurricane hit Nova Scotia.
  • August 26, 1873: The Nova Scotia Hurricane of 1873 drifted south of Nova Scotia as a category 3. It weakened to a category one before slowly making landfall in Newfoundland. It was a devastating hurricane that killed over 600. Damage in Nova Scotia was severe. It destroyed over 1,200 boats and over 900 homes and businesses. This is one of Nova Scotia's worst cyclones.
  • August 23, 1886: A major hurricane weakened to a category 1 before crossing Newfoundland as a hurricane.
  • September 8, 1891: A hurricane struck both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as a category 1.
  • August 18, 1893: A hurricane struck Newfoundland with 90 mph (145 km/h) winds.

1900-1949[edit]

A very long lull occurred during this time which was not officially broken until 1939. Only three tropical hurricanes struck Canada between 1900 and 1949, as well as one damaging extratropical storm.

  • September 26, 1937: The extratropical remnant of a hurricane caused damage in Nova Scotia. The storm was moving swiftly, so most of the damage was strictly wind related.
  • September 21, 1938: The New England Hurricane of 1938 tracked into Canada, bringing strong winds to eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Damage was primarily limited to trees and power lines; structural damage was minimal. This storm, along with Hurricane Hazel in 1954, was one of the few hurricanes to cause hurricane-force winds in Canada's interior.
  • October 18, 1939: After a long respite from hurricanes in Newfoundland, a hurricane struck the island as a category 1. No one died, but considerable damage was done to trees, boats, and buildings.
  • September 17, 1940: A hurricane struck Nova Scotia before weakening.

1950 - 1994[edit]

Wettest tropical cyclones in Canada
Highest known recorded totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref
Rank mm in
1 302.0 11.89 Harvey 1999 Oxford [1]
2 249.9 9.84 Beth 1971 Halifax [2]
3 238.0 9.37 Igor 2010 St. Lawrence [3]
4 213.6 8.41 Hazel 1954 Snelgrove [4]
5 200.4 7.89 Chantal 2007 Argentia [5]
6 191.0 7.52 Bertha 1990 Hunters Mountain [6]
7 185.0 7.28 Sandy 2012 Charlevoix [7]
8 175.0 6.90 Gabrielle 2001 St. John's [8]
9 165.0 6.50 Cristobal 2008 Baccaro Point [9]
9 165.0 6.50 Leslie 2012 Shubenacadie [10]

In this list, tropical storms are included but extratropical remnants aren't unless they were notable.

  • August 21, 1950: Hurricane Able struck Nova Scotia as a strong tropical storm, causing only minor damage.
  • October 5, 1950: Hurricane George passed a few miles south as a tropical/extratropical storm.
  • February 5, 1952: The 1952 Groundhog Day Tropical Storm, the earliest tropical storm ever recorded, affected New Brunswick before dissipating.
  • September 7, 1953: Hurricane Carol struck the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border. It caused about $1 million in damage, mainly to boats and fish craft.
  • October 16, 1954: Hurricane Hazel moved into Ontario as a powerful extratropical storm (still of hurricane intensity) after having struck the Carolinas. Flash flooding from Hazel in Canada destroyed twenty bridges, killed 81 people, and left over 2,000 families homeless. In all, Hazel killed nearly 100 people and caused almost $630 million (2005 CAD) in damages (on top of over 500 other deaths and billions in damage in the US and Caribbean). No other recent natural disaster on Canadian soil has been so deadly. Floods killed 35 people on a single street in Toronto.[11]
  • August 23,1955: Hurricane Connie - When the remnants of Connie entered Ontario as a tropical depression, it continued to produce winds of up to 46 mph (75 km/h), and the storm dropped 2.56 in (65 mm) of rainfall near the Great Lakes. In Burlington, 27 boats were destroyed, and one person drowned in Lake Erie after his boat sank. Two other people drowned in the province. Connie destroyed six houses and damaged several others due to high waves.
  • September 29, 1958: Hurricane Helene struck Newfoundland as a hurricane. Although not very damaging in Canada, Helene did destroy a 50 metre (160 foot) wharf carrying many lobsters out to sea.
  • June 19, 1959: The 1959 Escuminac Hurricane was a devastating hurricane that hit Nova Scotia. 22 boats were lost during the storm. In all the hurricane killed 35. The hurricane was so devastating, a monument was erected on Escuminac Harbour in memory of those lost.
  • July 12, 1959: Tropical Storm Cindy struck north of Nova Scotia as an extratropical cyclone.
  • October 8, 1962: Hurricane Daisy struck Nova Scotia as a hurricane, near the same area as Frances a year earlier, which struck the area while extratropical.
  • October 12, 1962: Typhoon Freda struck British Columbia as a very powerful Extratropical Cyclone with pressure equivalent to a Major Hurricane.
  • October 29, 1963: Hurricane Ginny struck Nova Scotia as a Category 2 hurricane. Ginny was unusual in the fact that the hurricane was able to produce snow.
  • October 24, 1964: Hurricane Gladys dissipated near the coast of Newfoundland just after making landfall.
  • August 16, 1971: Hurricane Beth struck Nova Scotia as a minimal hurricane, bringing over 11 inches (275 mm) of rainfall.[12]
  • July 7, 1973: Hurricane Alice side-swiped the entire western coast of Newfoundland as a tropical storm before dissipating over Newfoundland.
  • July 28, 1975: Hurricane Blanche struck Nova Scotia as a tropical storm, dropping over 3 inches (75 mm) of rainfall.[13]
  • October 25, 1979: Subtropical storm 1 (known as a subtropical "storm" but was actually a subtropical "hurricane" having reached 75 mph (120 km/h) winds while subtropical) struck Newfoundland as a subtropical storm after losing hurricane strength.
  • August 7–8, 1988: Tropical Storm Alberto, the furthest north forming tropical storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, struck the Canadian Maritimes and became extratropical over Newfoundland. Alberto was the first storm with a masculine name to directly strike Canada.
  • August 8, 1989: Hurricane Dean passed over Newfoundland before losing tropical characteristics.
  • August 2, 1990: Hurricane Bertha's extratropical remnants damaged crops and a suspension bridge in Prince Edward Island.
  • November 2, 1991: The 1991 unnamed hurricane, although staying mostly out to sea, made landfall in Nova Scotia as a tropical storm. The storm was not very damaging in Canada, but caused horrendous damage elsewhere.

1995 - present[edit]

All landfalling tropical systems are included in the following list. Storms that transited from the U.S. to Canada overland are excluded unless notable. Extratropical storms are also excluded unless notable.

  • July 9, 1995: Tropical Storm Barry hit Nova Scotia while tropical with no known damage.[14]
    Luis making landfall in Canada
  • September 11, 1995: Hurricane Luis, after raging through the Leeward Islands, turned towards Newfoundland on September 8. The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued bulletins on the powerful hurricane as it neared the province. Luis struck a sparsely populated area in eastern Newfoundland on September 11, dropping 2 to 4 inches (60–120 mm) of rain in the Avalon Peninsula without causing much damage. One was reported killed in Canada from Luis.[15]
  • July 14, 1996: Hurricane Bertha struck Newfoundland before dissipating, but passed from Maine to New Brunswick earlier in its life, dropping over 3 inches (75 mm) of rain in New Brunswick.[16]
  • September 15, 1996: Hurricane Hortense, the first hurricane to directly strike Nova Scotia while at hurricane strength since Blanche in 1975, struck the Nova Scotian coast as a category 1 hurricane. $3 million were inflicted to Nova Scotia by Hortense after strong winds, heavy rain, and power outages.[17]
  • September 18, 1999: Hurricane Floyd struck the Canadian Maritimes after losing tropical characteristics. Despite high interest in Floyd by the CHC, little damage was inflicted in Canada. Floyd did, however, bring winds of 51 mph (82 km/h) and high seas.[18]
  • October 20, 2000: Hurricane Michael struck Harbour Breton as a category 1 hurricane. A peak gust was recorded of nearly 107 mph (171 km/h), as well as a peak wave height of over 55 feet (16.7 m) that was recorded off the coast by Buoy 44193. Overall damage by Michael was light.[19]
  • October 15, 2001: Hurricane Karen brought beneficial rain after striking Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Winds there only gusted to about 64 mph (102 km/h), and little damage was reported.[20]
  • September 12, 2002: Hurricane Gustav struck Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, both as a category 1 hurricane. Gustav brought hurricane force winds to Nova Scotia and dropped at least two inches (50 mm) of rain across all Nova Scotian sites. The highest rainfall amount was 4 inches (100 mm) in Ashdale.[21]
    Damage left by Juan.
  • September 29, 2003: Hurricane Juan is sometimes considered Atlantic Canada's most widely destructive hurricane in over a century. Juan killed 8 and caused over $200 million in damage. Power outages in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island left over 300,000 Canadians without power for two weeks. Many marinas were destroyed and many small fish craft were damaged or sank. Hurricane force gusts were reported as far out as 100 miles (160 km) on either side of Juan at landfall with an astounding peak gust of 144 mph (229 km/h) (equivalent to a category 4 hurricane) recorded in Halifax Harbour, although it was a Category 2 at landfall with 100 mph (160 km/h) sustained winds.[22]
    Hurricane Alex, one of very few Category 3 Hurricanes to remain at Category strength just south of Nova Scotia.
  • September 17, 2005: Hurricane Ophelia, after stalling for several days off the coast of the southeastern states, raced up the Atlantic coast. On the 17th, Ophelia became extratropical and moved parallel to the Nova Scotian coast, never making landfall. Ophelia later struck Newfoundland. Although strong winds were forecast, they did not occur and overall damage was less than expected. One indirect death was reported from Ophelia in Canada.[23]
  • November 3, 2006: the 2006 Central Pacific cyclone, after developing in the north-central Pacific, made landfall on Vancouver Island, BC. The exact nature of this storm is debatable, but it appears to have been a tropical or subtropical cyclone for at least a portion of its life.[24] Nonetheless, this cyclone is not included in any archives of the National Hurricane Center or the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
  • November 6–7, 2007: Hurricane Noel, after gaining hurricane force north of the Bahama Islands, Noel moved north toward the Cape Cod region of the Massachusetts U.S. coast. After swiping southeast Massachusetts with hurricane force winds,the offshore center transitioned to a sub-tropical and then extratropical stage at which time the storm slightly intensified and moved north-northeast to the Nova Scotia coast near Yarmouth. Full hurricane force conditions occurred over much of southeastern and eastern areas of Nova Scotia from Yarmouth north and eastward to the metropolitan Halifax area(84 mph recorded at McNabs/Halifax). This very same area reported large-scale power and utility line damage as well as widespread tree damage. In areas south of Halifax the tree damage was more severe than that which had occurred during Hurricane Juan in 2003.This was due to the longer transition over the southern peninsula of Nova Scotia than that of Juan.Though at category one status,Noel in its extratropical stage was responsible for coastal damage to some structures from waves and tides and wind damage to roofing and windows.Western areas of Nova Scotia, even well inland received strong gales, the strongest of which occurred in relation to a tropical system since hurricanes Gerda 1969 and Ginny of 1963.
  • September 28, 2008: Hurricane Kyle, after forming as a tropical storm just east of the Bahamas, headed north, making landfall in Nova Scotia as a category 1 hurricane, causing power outages to 40,000 and $9 million in damage.[25]
  • August 23, 2009: Hurricane Bill, a Cape Verde hurricane, brushed by Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia causing up to 2.3 in of rain. 32,000 residences were reported to have lost power in addition to winds recorded up to 50 mph. Bill then made landfall at Point Rosie, on the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland.
  • September 3, 2010: Hurricane Earl made landfall at Western Head, Nova Scotia as a minimal hurricane.[26] Earl produced 80–120 km/h (50-75 mph) sustained winds throughout Nova Scotia, which resulted in widespread power outages, fallen trees, and minor coastal flooding. After crossing Nova Scotia, Earl sped across Prince Edward Island before emerging into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. As the storm tracked through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, western and northern Newfoundland experienced sustained tropical storm conditions. Earl finally transitioned into a non-tropical low approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) northeast of Anticosti Island.
  • September 21, 2010: Hurricane Igor struck Cape Race, Newfoundland as a large category 1 hurricane, resulting in major flooding and widespread power outages. Many communities were forced to declare a state of emergency, and some evacuated completely as the storm approached. Igor was unusual in that it restrengthened somewhat during its final approach despite being over cool water. As the storm made landfall near Cape Race, maximum sustained winds were estimated to be at least 120 km/h (80 mph), but gusts up to 170 km/h (105 mph) were reported.[27] Hurricane Igor produced hurricane conditions throughout the Avalon Peninsula and tropical storm conditions over the remainder of the island. Media outlets have stated that Igor was the worst hurricane to hit Newfoundland in a century.
  • August 28, 2011: Hurricane Irene crossed into Canada as an extratropical storm bringing heavy rain and strong winds to parts of Quebec and New Brunswick. Parts of New Brunswick received over 80mm of rain and wind gusts peaked at 93 km/h in Moncton.
  • September 16, 2011: Hurricane Maria made landfall near the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. Due to Maria's rapid forward speed (90+ km/h), rainfall totals were kept to a minimum and strong winds remained offshore, confined to the eastern semi-circle. As a result, little damage occurred.
  • September 26, 2011:Typhoon Roke's remnants brought rain to British Columbia.
  • October 3, 2011: Hurricane Ophelia made landfall near the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland.
  • September 11, 2012: Hurricane Leslie made landfall on the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland as a hurricane-strength post-tropical cyclone. Leslie's track put the Avalon Peninsula in the right-front quadrant, resulting in hurricane-force winds, widespread power outages, and structural damage.
  • October 29-30, 2012: Hurricane Sandy crossed into Canada on October 29 through to early October 30, bringing heavy rain, high winds, and in some places, snow, to Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.[28]
  • July 5, 2014: Hurricane Arthur made landfall in south western Nova Scotia on July 5, 2014. The storm at the time was downgraded to a tropical storm. Arthur brought heavy rain, winds and pounding surf to parts of the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia.The strong storm dropped nearly 150 mm of rain to parts to New Brunswick. It cut power to 1/3 of the Nova Scotia households.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1999-Harvey". Environment Canada. September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Environment Canada. Canadian Hurricane Centre: Impacts of Hurricanes. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
  3. ^ "Hurricane Igor drenches Newfoundland peninsula". Toronto Star. September 21, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ Environment Canada. Remembering Hurricane Hazel: Storm Information. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
  5. ^ Gary Padgett. Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary: July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-12-28.
  6. ^ Dr. Hal Garrish. Hurricane Bertha Statistics. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
  7. ^ "2. Super Storm Sandy and Another Active Hurricane Season". Environment Canada. December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ Canadian Hurricane Centre (2002). "2001 Tropical Cyclone Season Summary". Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  9. ^ Chris Fogarty and Peter Bowyer. TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL INFORMATION STATEMENT. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  10. ^ Chris Fogarty and Peter Bowyer. Post-Tropical Cyclone Leslie Information Statement Retrieved on 2012-12-24.
  11. ^ CHC report on Hazel
  12. ^ CHC climate data for Nova Scotia
  13. ^ CHC - Storms 1975
  14. ^ http://www.weather.com/encyclopedia/tropical/archive/1995/storms.html Weather Channel's Barry report
  15. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm95.html#luis CHC report on Luis
  16. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm96.html%7C CHC report on Bertha
  17. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm96.html CHC report on Hortense
  18. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm99.html#floyd CHC report on Floyd
  19. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm00.html CHC report on Michael
  20. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm01.html CHC report on Karen
  21. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm02.html CHC report on Gustav
  22. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm03.html CHC report on Juan
  23. ^ http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm05.html CHC report on Ophelia
  24. ^ http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11050.html
  25. ^ " Kyle archive, National Hurricane Center, accessed 2008-09-28
  26. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/09/04/ns-storm-earl-hits.html
  27. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2010/09/22/15443806.html
  28. ^ http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/28/hurricane-sandy-2012-ontario-canada/