Atlantic Storms, 16 Sept 2023

TLDR: Lee (AL15) is making landfall on the south coast of Nova Scotia today, no longer technically a hurricane but has a few areas of hurricane force winds. Expect strong nor’easter like impacts. Storm Surges and high waves along the south coast. Margot (AL14) is a decaying tropical storm far from land. Tropical Depression 15 is a strengthening storm far from land, looks to stay well east of Bermuda.

click any image to embiggen.

The only threat at the moment is from Lee, about to make landfall in Canada. Here are links to NHC’s Key Messages regarding Hurricane Lee, and Environment Canada’s hurricane warnings.  As noted above, impacts will be high waves and surge right on the coast, rain and urban flooding inland in places, but most of the impacts will be trees down, power outages, scattered wind damage. We’re seeing some reports of those last two impacts across New England. The worst of this should be out of the US by late this evening, and past Canada by Monday as Lee merges with another system.

I’ve had a couple of questions about storm surges and the Bay of Fundy. The track and timing don’t look to be favorable for adding a lot to the already phenomenal tides in the bay (which are above normal today anyway due to spring tides – new moon near the equinox). Tides at Musquash Harbor (near Saint John, New Brunswick) look to be on the order of a meter above forecast at times, but the winds will be mostly blowing southerly, pushing water down the funnel (against the tide). Some areas on the south coast (Chester, St. Margarets Bay, up to Halifax area) where the winds are more directly onshore may see 2 meters of surge.


  1. Good morning! Thanks for the “Making plans for Nigel” link. Took me right back to the ’70’s!

    If you ever have some free time, (insert chuckle emoji), could you go into more detail explaining storm surge and what the relative heights actually mean? It seems like there is so much confusion when it comes to understanding the true implications of a surge prediction.
    Thanks so much,

    1. That’s a great idea – you’re right, there is a huge amount of confusion on this, and some recent changes to the way NWS reports surge have I think made it worse.

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