Hurricane Juan: Wikis


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Hurricane Juan
Category 2 hurricane (SSHS)

Hurricane Juan approaching Nova Scotia as a 100mph hurricane
Formed September 24, 2003
Dissipated September 29, 2003
105 mph (170 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 969 mbar (hPa; 28.61 inHg)
Fatalities 4 direct, 4 indirect
Damage $200 million (2003 USD)
$238 million (2009 USD)
Atlantic Canada (primarily Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)
Part of the
2003 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Juan was a significant hurricane that struck the southern part of Atlantic Canada in late September 2003. It was the tenth named storm and the sixth hurricane of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season.

Juan formed southeast of Bermuda on September 24, 2003 out of a tropical wave that tracked into the subtropical Atlantic Ocean. It strengthened gradually in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, reaching Category 2 strength on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale on September 27 while continuing to track northward. It peaked at 105 mph (165 km/h) as it rapidly approached the coast of Nova Scotia, losing little intensity over the cooler waters. Juan made landfall between Shad Bay and Prospect in the Halifax Regional Municipality early on September 29 as either a strong Category 1, or weak Category 2 hurricane with peak sustained winds of 94 mph (152 km/h), as measured at the McNab's Island Lightstation[1]. Juan retained hurricane strength as it crossed Nova Scotia from south to north before weakening to a tropical storm as it crossed Prince Edward Island. It was absorbed by another extratropical low later on September 29 near Anticosti Island in the northern Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

The storm left extensive damage across central Nova Scotia and into Prince Edward Island, with lesser damage east and west of the storm centre. Most of the damage was as a result of the high winds that whipped across the region. Juan resulted in eight fatalities and over $300 million (2003 CAD, $200 million 2003 USD) in damage. It was described as the worst storm to hit Halifax since 1893.[2][3]


Meteorological history

Storm path

A large tropical wave accompanied by a broad area of low pressure moved off the coast of Africa on September 14, 2003. It moved westward,[4] and due to unfavourable upper level wind shear the system remained disorganized.[5] On September 20, while the wave was located about 690 miles (1100 km) east of the Lesser Antilles, convection around the system greatly increased while interacting with the circulation of a large upper-level low, though unfavourable conditions caused it to remain disorganized. The system as a whole moved to the northwest around the upper-level low and developed a mid-level circulation. It interacted with a frontal zone,[4] and became better organized on September 23 while located 450 miles (725 km) south of Bermuda.[6] Later that day, a low-level circulation developed within the system, though its involvement with a nearby frontal zone prevented it being classified a tropical depression. Deep convection increased near the centre on September 24, and it quickly organized to develop banding features and a distinct outflow. Based on its organization, it is estimated the system developed into Tropical Depression Fifteen later that day while located about 345 miles (555 km) southeast of Bermuda. Operationally, the National Hurricane Center did not begin issuing advisories until 27 hours after it actually formed.[4]

Initially, the depression possessed tropical and subtropical characteristics; it maintained attachment to a nearby frontal zone, though the organization of the convection and a warm core within the system resulted in classification as a tropical cyclone. Forecasters predicted the depression would only slowly strengthen and reach a peak intensity of 65 mph (105 km/h).[7] However, the depression steadily organized and strengthened into Tropical Storm Juan early on September 25.[4] Later that day, the centre of circulation became embedded within the convection. Juan moved northwestward at around 10 mph (16 km/h), a motion due to the presence of a developing subtropical ridge to its east.[8] On September 26, an eye feature developed, and very deep convection developed near the circulation.[9] The cloud pattern continued to organize, and Juan attained hurricane status later on the 26th while located 165 miles (270 km) southeast of Bermuda.[4] As the hurricane moved into an area of warm waters and light wind shear, it strengthened and organized further, and on September 27 Juan attained a peak intensity of 105 mph (165 km/h) while located 635 miles (1020 km) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. At its peak strength, the eye of the hurricane was distinct and embedded within a well-defined and round central dense overcast.[10]

Juan at landfall

Hurricane Juan remained at peak intensity for over 24 hours. After moving northwestward for an extended period of time, it turned and accelerated to the north.[4] On September 28, the eye became less distinct, and the hurricane weakened slightly. Due to its fast forward motion, it had little time to weaken over significantly colder waters,[11] and Juan made landfall between Shad Bay and Prospect (near Halifax) on September 29 with winds of 100 mph (160 km/h). It weakened quickly while moving across the southern Canadian Maritimes, quickly crossing the Nova Scotia peninsula as a hurricane, before downgrading to a tropical storm as it crossed over Prince Edward Island several hours later in the early hours of the morning. Later that afternoon, Tropical Storm Juan was absorbed by a large extratropical storm in the northwestern Gulf of Saint Lawrence.[4]


The first advisories were given by the Canadian Hurricane Centre on September 26, although at that time there were only broad details suggesting the possibility existed for wind and rain across Atlantic Canada.[12] On September 27, as Juan approached, warning broadcasts on local media in Atlantic Canada were changed accordingly, and the public and emergency officials in the expected landfall area were told to make preparations for a potential disaster, as the CHC bulletins indicated the possibility existed for significant wind damage and flooding from both heavy rain and storm surges, as well as power outages.[13]

On the morning of September 28, the latest reports indicated that Juan would make landfall either as a tropical storm or marginal Category 1 hurricane.[14] Weather broadcasts up to that time gave every indication that the storm would weaken prior to landfall. By 6 p.m. ADT (2100 UTC), additional warnings were issued, as Juan was expected to make landfall as a strong Category 1 or weak Category 2 hurricane.[15] Most businesses in the areas affected were at the time closed on Sundays, which meant that preparations could not be made at the last minute.[16]

Although no large-scale evacuations were made, local evacuations for low-lying areas were issued on the evening of September 28. In all, several hundred people were affected by these evacuations. Utility workers also went onto standby before the storm hit, preparing for large-scale power outages.[17]



Nova Scotia

Debris on Barrington Street following the hurricane

Hurricane Juan's maximum sustained wind speed at landfall in Nova Scotia was measured at 100 mph (160 km/h).[4] The urban concentration surrounding Halifax Harbour bore the brunt of the highest sustained winds and strongest wind gusts during the storm; some unofficial estimates have placed gusts as high as 145 mph (230 km/h).[18] Wave-rider weather buoys off the entrance of Halifax Harbour snapped their moorings after reportedly recording waves in excess of 65 ft (20 m). Significant erosion occurred on the populated shores of the harbour, particularly in the Bedford Basin where residential properties and railway tracks received most of the wave action. Storm surges of 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2 m) were reported in the harbour; it was the highest surge ever recorded in Halifax Harbour.[19] Rainfall was fairly light due to the fast movement and dry air on the southern side of the storm. There were no rainfall reports greater than 2 inches (52 mm).[20]

Juan caused widespread structural and vegetation damage across the region, particularly in and around the Halifax Regional Municipality. Extensive damage to trees was reported, which blocked many streets and knocked down power lines. Many homes and businesses suffered property damage, particularly roof damage on structures, and some weaker structures were destroyed.[2] HRM estimated that 31% of residential homes suffered some degree of damage and 27% of homes had enough damage to warrant an insurance claim.[21] In downtown Halifax, erosion-control boulders the size of garbage cans were hurled from Halifax Harbour onto boardwalks and parking lots and piers. The Victoria General Hospital experienced roof and water damage and was evacuated during the storm, as were numerous tall apartment buildings and other multi-family residences.[22] Billboards and signs were also destroyed, and dozens of vehicles were crushed by trees and other debris.[2] The city's cherished Point Pleasant Park and Public Gardens suffered massive loss of trees and remained closed for months.

Historic lighthouse building on Sambro Island gutted by storm surge.

At the harbour entrance, on Sambro Island, a historic building beside the oldest lighthouse in North America was badly damaged and remains unrepaired in 2007.[23] The hurricane caused severe damage to shipping in Halifax Harbour. A visiting schooner pleasure craft, Larinda, was sunk and a harbour tour ketch Mar II was driven ashore in eastern passage on the opposite side of Halifax Harbour. Dozens of smaller yachts where also driven ashore; extensive damage occurred to yacht clubs in the Bedford Basin and Northwest Arm. Dozens of containers were knocked off two container ships at the South End Container Terminal. Wharves on the Halifax and Darmouth waterfront suffered large amounts of damage and several railcars were washed into the harbour at the Dartmouth railway yard; one of the tracks for the double-track main line was washed out in several places along the Bedford Basin near Millview. Coastal flooding was also reported around Halifax Harbour as a result of the storm surge,[19] although inland flooding was minor as rainfall was not heavy due to Juan's fast forward movement.[2]

Broken windows following the hurricane in an apartment building.

Less severe property damage was recorded west of the storm's track into St. Margarets Bay and Mahone Bay. In addition to Halifax Regional Municipality's urban core, the town of Truro and all of rural Colchester County as well as the western part of Pictou County experienced property damage and power outages from falling trees; numerous barns and other agricultural buildings were damaged east of the storm's path, including a replica of the Hector in Pictou Harbour.[2] The severity of property damage in the metropolitan areas of Halifax and Dartmouth of Halifax Regional Municipality initially led some forecasters to believe that Juan was likely a Category 3 hurricane; however, the sustained wind reports did not justify that suggestion. Many of the deciduous trees in central Nova Scotia still had leaves, which magnified the effects of wind damage.[24] Overall, the number of damaged trees was estimated to be in the millions.[2]

Juan left more than 700,000 people without power in central Nova Scotia. It took up to two weeks to restore power to the hardest hit rural areas of Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore and the Musquodoboit River valley.[2] Nova Scotia Power reported that 27 main transmission lines, 31 substations and 117 distribution feeders were damaged by the storm, plus several transmission towers.[21] 70% of the trees in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park were destroyed, fundamentally changing the character of the large urban park. The Halifax Public Gardens was also badly damaged.[2]

Juan claimed six lives (two directly) in Nova Scotia. Both of the direct deaths were due to fallen trees; one was a Halifax paramedic and the other was a motorist in Enfield.[25] Three of the four indirect deaths were as a result of a house fire started by candles when electricity was cut, and the fourth was in relief work after the storm.[2]

Rest of Atlantic Canada

Rainfall from Hurricane Juan

When the storm tracked across Nova Scotia and into the Northumberland Strait, it was still a Category 1 hurricane, weakening to a tropical storm as it emerged into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Wind gusts of 86 mph (139 km/h) were reported in Charlottetown[3] and 67 mph (107 km/h) in the Iles de la Madeleine in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.[4]

Damage was also reported in Prince Edward Island as a result of the storm, particularly around Charlottetown, where its waterfront sustained heavy wave damage to pleasure craft and sea walls, as well as significant damage to the older urban forest in that city's downtown core. Extensive tree damage was also reported across the island, as well as structural damage to weaker buildings, such as barns and silos.[2] Much of the island also lost electricity as a result of the storm, and the outages lasted up to five days.[26] The narrow path meant that damage was quite localized; little damage was reported in New Brunswick or western Prince Edward Island.[27]

Voting in the PEI general election on September 29 was also disrupted, though more than 80% of voters made it to polling stations.[28]

The storm caused minimal damage in Newfoundland and heavy rains across the island.

Two deaths were reported in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off the remote Anticosti Island in Quebec. They were fishermen from New Brunswick operating near Anticosti Island.[2]


Entrance to the Public Gardens in Halifax in early September 2003
The same entrance on September 29, 2003
Halifax Waterfront after Hurricane Juan

In the hours following the storm a state of emergency was declared in Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of neighbouring East Hants Municipal District and Colchester County. The Government of Nova Scotia requested that the federal government deploy 600 Canadian Forces personnel to assist local authorities in HRM with cleanup in the urban area and to assist utility crews with electrical power restoration.[29] Many utility workers, especially those employed by Nova Scotia Power and the dozens of crews from Maritime Electric and NB Power who responded under mutual assistance agreements, worked for almost 3 weeks without any considerable amount of rest.[2] Many residents praised utility crews for their hard work in restoring the extensive damage.

The devastated Point Pleasant Park remained closed for cleanup after the storm before re-opening in June 2004, nine months after the storm hit and with 85% of its trees removed and its shoreline damaged. A revitalization and reforestation program began in 2005.[30]

The Government of Nova Scotia pledged $10 million (2003 CAD) in relief money after the hurricane hit, and private contributions were also made quickly after the storm hit.[31] Prince Edward Island also pledged $200,000 (2003 CAD) immediately after the hurricane hit,[32] and the federal government also announced their own package.[33] The Mayor of Toronto at the time, Mel Lastman, also contributed $50,000 (2003 CAD) to replace damaged trees in Prince Edward Island.[34]

Hurricane Juan alerted residents, governments, utilities, and emergency management agencies throughout Atlantic Canada to improve preparations for devastating events such as hurricanes, especially with climatological data pointing to possible increased frequency of major ocean storms and extratropical cyclones. In addition to Juan, three other storms — Fabian, Isabel and Kate — had a significant effect on land or offshore in Canada during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season.[35]

Preparations and planning have been underway since 2003 and were first tested when Hurricane Ophelia was forecast to brush near Nova Scotia in early September 2005.[36] Hurricane Juan has also resulted in several changes to the Meteorological Service of Canada's Canadian Hurricane Centre, which has relocated from a vulnerable and exposed office building in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to a more secure location that can withstand hurricane damage. CHC's hurricane warning system has also been improved; traditionally, CHC did not issue standard hurricane or tropical storm watches or warnings, just high wind and heavy rainfall warnings, which were often not heeded by local residents. Beginning in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, CHC began using standard hurricane warnings for storms potentially affecting Canada.[37] Canada issued its first hurricane warning in 2008 in anticipation of Hurricane Kyle and in 2009, issued its second hurricane watch in anticipation of Hurricane Bill.

Because of its effects in Canada, the name Juan was retired in April 2004 and will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane. Environment Canada noted that its request for retirement was "in consideration of the lost and damaged lives, the impact to economy, and the widespread destruction of trees through out two provinces".[38] It was the first time that the Meteorological Service of Canada had specifically requested a hurricane name be retired;[39] most hurricanes which have affected Canada in the past had previously caused damage elsewhere, usually along the US East Coast. The name was replaced by Joaquin for the 2009 season, however, the name Joaquin has yet to be used, as the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season did not have enough storms to reach the name.[40] The names Jaime and Jorge were also suggested as possible replacement names. Juan was only the third Category 2 hurricane to be retired in this basin; the other 2 were Hurricane Fifi in 1974 and Hurricane Diana in 1990.[41]

See also


  1. ^ Peter Bowyer (2003). "The Science of Hurricane Juan — Classifying Hurricane Juan". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2009-08-22.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chris Fogarty (2003). "Hurricane Juan Storm Summary" (PDF). Canadian Hurricane Centre/Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  3. ^ a b Peter Bowyer (2003). "Hurricane Juan 2003 Storm Summary". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lixion Avila (2003). "Hurricane Juan Tropical Cyclone Report". National Hurricane Center (NHC). Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  5. ^ Avila (2003). "September 17 Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  6. ^ Avila (2003). "September 23 Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  7. ^ Avila (2003). "Tropical Depression Fifteen Discussion Fifteen". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  8. ^ Avila (2003). "Tropical Storm Juan Discussion Two". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  9. ^ Stewart (2003). "Tropical Storm Juan Discussion Four". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  10. ^ Avila (2003). "Hurricane Juan Discussion Ten". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  11. ^ Pasch (2003). "Hurricane Juan Discussion Fourteen". NHC. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  12. ^ Parkes (2003). "Canadian Hurricane Centre Information Statement, 1200 UTC September 26". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  13. ^ Parkes (2003). "Canadian Hurricane Centre Information Statement, 1800 UTC September 27". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  14. ^ Parkes (2003). "Canadian Hurricane Centre Information Statement, 0600 UTC September 28". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  15. ^ Parkes (2003). "Canadian Hurricane Centre Information Statement, 1800 UTC September 28". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  16. ^ Richer, Shawna (2003). "Building collapses as Juan ravages Nova Scotia". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  17. ^ Associated Press (2003). "Hurricane Juan bears down on Nova Scotia". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  18. ^ Peter Bowyer (2003). "Classifying Hurricane Juan". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  19. ^ a b Peter Bowyer (2003). "The Storm Surge and Waves at Halifax with Hurricane Juan". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  20. ^ "Rainfall amounts from Hurricane Juan". Environment Canada. 2003. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  21. ^ a b "Climate SMART: Be cool, reduce global warming, pollution and climate risks". Halifax Regional Municipality. 2003. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  22. ^ Associated Press (2003). "Juan hits Canada's eastern coast". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  23. ^ Heritage Canada Foundation, Presentation to the Standing Committee of fisheries and Oceans,
  24. ^ Murray Brewster (2004). "Why Did Juan Hit So Hard?" (PDF). Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  25. ^ CBC News (2003). "Nova Scotians clean up after Juan". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Retrieved 2006-12-22.  
  26. ^ CBC News (2003). "The PEI-Headlines Archives". CBC. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  27. ^ Fogarty, Chris (2004). "A Comparison of the Wind Fields of Hurricane Edna (1954) and Hurricane Juan (2003)" (PDF). Meteorological Service of Canada. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  28. ^ Canadian Press (2003). "Hurricane doesn't stop election". CanWest Global Communications. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  29. ^ CBC News (2003). "Fallen trees hamper efforts to restore power in the wake of Juan". CBC. Retrieved 2006-12-22.  
  30. ^ "Point Pleasant Park: Forestification". Halifax Regional Municipality. 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  31. ^ News Staff (2003). "N.S. pledges $10M in relief for Hurricane Juan". CTVglobemedia. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  32. ^ MacFayden, Elmer (2003). "Province announces $200,000 to address immediate needs of Islanders affected by Hurricane Juan". Government of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  33. ^ Canadian Hurricane Centre (2003). "Hurricane Juan 2003 Special Reports (link removed)". Meteorological Service of Canada. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  34. ^ "Toronto funds trees for PEI". Canada NewsWire. 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-23.  
  35. ^ "2003 Atlantic Season Hammers Atlantic Coast". Environment Canada. 2003. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  36. ^ "Atlantic Season 2004 Preview". Environment Canada. 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  37. ^ John Parker (2004). "Working Together to Understand the Risks" (PDF). Meteorological Service of Canada. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  
  38. ^ Peter Bowyer (2004-04-29). "Should "Hurricane Juan" be retired?". Canadian Hurricane Centre. Retrieved 2007-01-30.  
  39. ^ "'Juan' retired from World Meteorological Organization hurricane name list". Environment Canada. 2004-04-30. Retrieved 2007-01-30.  
  40. ^ World Meteorological Organization (2004). "Final Report of the 2003 Hurricane Season" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-02-11.  
  41. ^ World Meteorological Organization (2004). "Replacement Names for 2003 Atlantic Hurricanes (Fabian, Isabel, and Juan) and 2002 Hurricane Lili" (DOC). Retrieved 2007-02-11.  

External links

Tropical cyclones of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS 1 2 3 4 5


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