Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall on Newfoundland; Now Post-Tropical

September 19, 2011

A report from catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide notes that “Extratropical Storm Maria made landfall as a minimal Category 1 hurricane on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula near Cape Pine on Friday afternoon about 4:00 pm local time (2:30 pm EDT) after a long journey off the entire coastline of eastern North America.”

It was a quick passage, and AIR said “Maria already had crossed the peninsula and entered the waters of the north Atlantic. Dr. Tim Doggett, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide stated that the storm was “was moving at nearly 60 mph [96 km/h] and was situated roughly 85 miles [136 kms] northeast of Newfoundland’s capital, St. John’s (population 192,000).”

He added that the “storm’s maximum sustained winds had weakened to 70 mph [112 km/h] and were expected to weaken further. It also was losing its closed circulation and other tropical characteristics. Given these circumstances, the NHC classified Maria as a post-tropical cyclone.’

According to AIR, in Maria’s path as it crossed the Avalon Peninsula were “a number of small towns along the coast. The inland portion of the peninsula, which is about 40 miles [64 kms] wide at its widest, is a wilderness preserve. St. John’s lies at the northern end of the peninsula and was subjected to the storm’s diminishing winds.

“Residential structures in the city are largely wood frame buildings, while commercial buildings are predominately of reinforced concrete. At Maria’s wind speeds, downed trees and utility lines can be expected, but the storm should cause no significant damage to buildings other than to roof coverings and cladding in some instances. So far there have been no reports of damage.”

Maria first formed over a week ago. It became a named tropical storm on September 8th. At that time it was located about 1,000 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands. “In its long journey north, it became a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph [120 km/h] winds. It is eventually expected to break up.

Source: AIR Worldwide

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