Canadian Geographic
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Extremes of weather

Horrifying hurricanes

A hurricane is a cyclical storm of tropical origin thousands of square kilometres across with speeds between 65 and 240 knots (120—445 km/h). Canada’s east coast is often visited by hurricanes between August and October, although most dissipate and are downgraded to gale force (34—47 knots or 65—90 km/h) storms by the time they reach our shores. Some hurricanes, however, have left their horrifying mark:

— On Aug. 24—25, 1927, a hurricane swept through Atlantic Canada, washing out roads, filling basements, and swamping boats. In Newfoundland, 56 people died at sea.
— On Oct. 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel dumped an estimated 300 million tonnes of rain on Toronto, obliterating streets and washing out bridges. In all, 83 people died.
— On Sept. 11, 1995, the QE2 ocean liner was struck by a 30-m wave during Hurricane Luis off the coast of Newfoundland, the largest measured wave height in the world.
— On Sept. 28, 2003, Hurricane Juan walloped Nova Scotia with winds in excess of 150 km/h. The storm killed 2 people, beached boats, uprooted hundreds of trees, and left thousands without power for days.


Horrifying hurricanes This slide show depicts three images of the damage done by Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia in 2003, plus one image of the clouds of the hurrican as seen from a space satellite.


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Weather records

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Quiz :

Which of these three terms does not describe an air mass affecting Canada?

Pacific maritime tropical
Maritime arctic