Ex-hurricane Danny: Weather for ducks

What's down the road?
"OK, boys, we're outta here. Let's check things out down the road." E. Sepulchre photo

These intrepid ducks were not at all shy as my husband herded them out of the garden and back down the road. I bet they’re happy now: it’s pouring rain. Danny was briefly a hurricane but is down to a post-tropical storm that will pass south of Nova Scotia on a similar path to Hurricane Bill. After a beautifully sunny, but cool, week, the gardens will love the rain. But weekend campers are out of luck this time.

It seems to have been a bumper year for ducks.  Near our place, we’re blessed with lots of natural shoreline where they can build nests.  Elsewhere, and where people have the money, they build walls of boulders at the high tide line to shore up their lawns and act as a buffer against erosion.  But those neat and tidy rock walls are bad news for nesting shorebirds.

Last blast for Bill

Hurricane Bill ended up not touching the Nova Scotian coast at all. Here’s a map of the final track, from StormPulse.com:

 Track of Hurricane Bill along the coast of Nova Scotia, August 23, 2009. Image from StormPulse.com.
Track of Hurricane Bill along the coast of Nova Scotia, August 23, 2009. Image from StormPulse.com.

Lunenburg reported maximum winds of 56 km/hr gusting to 70, Baccaro Point further southwest: 67 gusting to 84. By the time Bill reaches Newfoundland, it should have lost power and been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Waiting for Hurricane Bill

Hurricane Bill approaching Nova Scotia as seen on StormPulse.com. Select clouds, windfields and map labels, then go fullscreen for the best picture.
Hurricane Bill approaching Nova Scotia as seen on StormPulse.com. Click image to see fullscreen current version. Select clouds, windfields and map labels, to get a picture like this.

“Batten down the hatches” – it’s an old expression from the days of “wooden boats and iron men” and describes perfectly what Nova Scotians are doing as Hurricane Bill approaches our shores. Memories of 2003’s Hurricane Juan, which hit Halifax hard, are fresh in our minds. There’s a sense of anticipation in the air, weighted down with high humidity and a fresh breeze. Boat owners are checking moorings, moving boats to safer places, removing canvas to reduce windage and damage, and literally securing the hatches. Everyone is stowing lawn furniture and garbage cans. Apple growers in the Annapolis Valley are concerned for their bumper apple crop, but there isn’t much they can do at this point except wait. And “pray to the rum god,” as a sailor told me as she watched her classic wooden daysailer being hauled out of the water.

Environment Canada's hurricane track predictions. Click image to see current version.
Environment Canada's hurricane track predictions. Click image to see current version.

Bill is currently forecast to pass south of Nova Scotia during the day tomorrow, Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane. I’m monitoring it on two websites: Environment Canada’s marine info section, and the more spectacular and information-rich StormPulse.com. We’ll see which of the two has the more accurate predictions!