At 12:10 a.m. ADT, Monday September 29, 2003, Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia between Shad Bay and Prospect. Juan arrived as a Category 2 hurricane of 85 knots (158 km/h) sustained winds with gusts to over 100 knots (185 km/h). The storm ripped northward through the province, weakening quickly over land, arriving in Prince Edward Island as a marginal hurricane. More detailed descriptions of the climatic conditions associated with Juan can be obtained from the Canadian Hurricane Centre of Environment Canada.
Hurricane Juan, just south of Nova Scotia, September 28, 2003
Storm track of Hurricane Juan as it passed over Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Ground surveys indicate that the area of greatest impact to the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia was from Liverpool to Ship Harbour.
Environment Canada Weather office reported the highest sustained winds (2-minute mean) recorded by a land station were 151 km/h at McNab's Island, in Halifax Harbour, with gusts to 176 km/h at 12:24 a.m. ADT. The maximum wind core (eastern eyewall) went right over Halifax Harbour.
Storm surge values ranged from around 1.0 metre (as far west as Mahone Bay) to 1.5 metres in Halifax Harbour (measured by a Canadian Hydrographic Service tide gauge) and possibly higher at the head of the estuaries east of Halifax. A record high water level of 2.90 m (chart datum) was recorded in Halifax Harbour which resulted in extensive flooding of the Halifax waterfront properties. East of Halifax, at the head of Chezzetcook Inlet, flood waters in a house reached an elevation of 3.31 m (chart datum).
The largest significant waves recorded at the coast were almost 9 metres off Halifax Harbour (Meteorological Service of Canada Buoy #44258) with maximum waves of 19.9 metres. This is a view of waves reaching the crest of a high gravel barrier during high tide on the morning of Sept. 28, 2003, before Juan reached Nova Scotia.
Impacts of Hurricane Juan on the Atlantic Coastline of Nova Scotia
Field surveys of the physical impacts of hurricane Juan on different types of shorelines were begun on the morning high tide of Sunday September 28 at sites stretching from Halifax Harbour to Martinique Beach along the Eastern Shore.
This presentation focuses on the impacts to barrier beaches (beaches backed by water) along the Eastern Shore including:
- a low gravel barrier - Silver Sands (Cow Bay) Beach;
- a high gravel barrier- Miseners-Long Beach;
- a mixed sand and gravel barrier- Lawrencetown Beach and
- a sand barrier- Martinique Beach.
A photo gallery of changes along the South Shore is included. Surveys are also available upon request for Story Head Beach, and Conrads Beach, Halifax County, and Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg County. Measurements of shore cliff changes were recorded from Grand Desert, Collies Head and Hartlen Point.
Map of coastal sites along Eastern Shore Nova Scotia where the impacts of hurricane Juan were surveyed in October 2003.
Surveys were completed across and along the tops of the barrier beach as well as spot elevations of flood water and debris lines using RTK (Real Time Kinematic) GPS technology. Pre-hurricane surveys were available from all of the sites measured and efforts are now focussed on monitoring the recovery of the same shores at one-, six- and twelve- month intervals after the event. Information will be updated as subsequent surveys are completed. All elevations are relative to geodetic datum unless otherwise stated.