Where were you when when the wind blew through?

Truro Daily News - - WEATHER - CINDY DAY weath­er­[email protected]­er­by­day.ca @Cindydaywe­ather Cindy Day is Saltwire Net­work’s Chief Me­te­o­rol­o­gist.

Res­i­dents of west­ern Cape Bre­ton won't soon for­get last Thurs­day night. As a storm ap­proached from the south, the fa­bled “suêtes” winds started to howl.

I was home watch­ing hockey when I no­ticed some ac­tiv­ity on my Face­book page. The first post I saw was from Kevin John Ca­mus. His de­tailed hourly weather re­port in­di­cated a wind gust to 229 km/h. It wasn’t long be­fore peo­ple started to post pho­tos and com­ments: Marie Géral­dine Leblanc: “It’s re­ally nerver­ack­ing. It’s the worst I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced since I’ve been back home (1994). We still have elec­tric­ity and tele­phone/in­ter­net. Thank God for look­ing af­ter us. I imag­ine the packed ice will be long gone by morn­ing. Stay safe every­one.” Aaron Bour­geois: “Cindy, I be­lieve the last time winds reached this speed was the win­ter hur­ri­cane of March 1993. The Cheti­camp hos­pi­tal’s roof was torn off that night.” Paula A Ca­mus: “The new up­date is gusts to 242!!” And fi­nally, Mike

Leav­itt: “Capers are a tough breed, es­pe­cially up that way. Mother Na­ture needs to take a va­ca­tion.”

The science be­hind the wind…

Les Suetes is an Aca­dian

phrase used to de­scribe a very strong south­east wind that oc­curs in an area along the west­ern coast of Cape Bre­ton Is­land, specif­i­cally in Inverness County, north of Mabou.

The name is a con­trac­tion of the French wind di­rec­tion “sud-est” or south-east. Th­ese winds de­velop ahead of a weather sys­tem as it ap­proaches from the south. The counter-clock­wise flow sets up a south­east­erly wind

up against the Cape Bre­ton High­lands. A

lo­cal fun­nelling ef­fect causes com­pres­sion and the wind in­ten­si­fies as it trav­els up and over the moun­tains.

It gushes down the other side to the coastal plateau along the Gulf of St. Lawrence at triple the ini­tial speed; th­ese wind gusts of­ten reach 130 km/h and have been known to gust to 240 km/h. Lo­cal fish­er­men re­port th­ese winds can ex­tend as far out as 25 kilo­me­tres off­shore.

STACEY AU­COIN

The pow­er­ful wind caused ex­ten­sive dam­age to the sid­ing on Lau­rie’s Mo­tel in Cheti­camp.

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