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Leslie should not be compared to Igor, says expert

The latest track map for tropical storm Leslie. The tropical cyclone is set to make landfall in Newfoundland on Tuesday.

By Laura Yorke

The Packet

As tropical storm Leslie makes its way to Newfoundland, many residents are no doubt thinking back to two years ago, when Hurricane Igor caused mass destruction in the Eastern part of the province.

But don’t be too quick to paint Leslie with the same brush, says Chris Fogarty of the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

Fogarty said he has observed many American blogs and media comparing Leslie to Igor, something he was not so hasty to do.

“I think you have to be very careful to make any parallels at this stage of the game.”

Igor struck Newfoundland in September of 2010 and was the most destructive tropical cyclone ever recorded to hit the island.

The similarities between Igor and Leslie include time of year (early September), water and air temperatures, the size of the storm, and the intensity, said Fogarty.

“The intensity is not huge (for Leslie), nor was Igor. Igor was all about rainfall and the impact and it merging with a front. That really was the story of Igor.”

A hurricane on its own produces more wind than rain, but with frontal interaction comes precipitation, which could pose more of a problem, he said.

“I think the important thing is that people realize that Newfoundland is sensitive to the rainfall threat from these storms.”

The size of Leslie can also be compared to Igor, said Fogarty.

“The cloud area is at least 500 kilometers across with this storm. Igor was a similar size when it was a purer hurricane further south. (But) that’s certainly the limit of comparisons that you would want to draw.”

Fogarty said people should not become overly worried about the storm before it hits, but they should be aware and monitor the updates.

Organizations: Canadian Hurricane Centre

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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