09/09/2012 11:20 EDT | Updated 11/09/2012 05:12 EST

Tropical Storm Leslie: Centre Expected To Hit Newfoundland On Tuesday

This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM EDT shows Tropical Storm Isaac located about 25 miles southwest of Monroe, Louisiana. This system has maximum sustained winds up to 40 mph and continues moving north-northwest at 9 mph. To the east, Hurricane Kirk is located about 1,650 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. This system has reached category 1 strength with winds up to 75 mph. Landfall is not anticipated as this system continues moving northwestward at 12 mph. Further east, Tropical Storm Leslie has developed about 1,125 miles east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph. This system is expected to move northwestward over the next few days. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

HALIFAX - The likelihood of tropical storm Leslie's centre making landfall in Newfoundland this week is high and its effects will be far-reaching, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Sunday.

Chris Fogarty, manager of the centre in Halifax, said it's difficult to predict where in Newfoundland the storm will land because its circulation is about 800 kilometres in diameter.

"The centre of the storm is not the area of most concern," said Fogarty in an interview. "It would actually be well outside that area because the storm is likely to be so large that the impact zone will be quite extensive."

Fogarty said winds could gust up to 100 km/h in Newfoundland and Cape Breton when it hits on Tuesday.

He said a front that was stalled over New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia on Sunday will stream moisture northward and will merge with some of Leslie's moisture and clouds when it arrives, significantly increasing the threat of heavy rainfall.

Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. could see 100 to 150 millimetres of rain over about 36 hours, Fogarty said.

He said Leslie was expected to reach hurricane status sometime Sunday or Monday, but he could not say if it will maintain that status for its arrival in Atlantic Canada.

"It will possess high winds for sure, whether it will be at hurricane strength or not, that still remains to be seen," said Fogarty. "We basically want to brace Newfoundland for the potential for hurricane force winds."

Forecasters said the small Category 2 hurricane Michael will likely be pushed northward out of the area by Leslie.

But the hurricane centre is still monitoring the interaction between the two storms, Fogarty said.

"We'll keep an eye on it because we don't... have experience with those types of systems," he said. "You don't usually have them that close, and they're going to get closer.

"But I don't think they'll get close enough that they become intertwined."

Leslie was about 230 kilometres southeast of Bermuda on Sunday.

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