Atlantic Canada braces for weather bomb, with ripping winds, heavy snow

Atlantic Canada braces for weather bomb, with ripping winds, heavy snow
Atlantic Canada braces for weather bomb, with ripping winds, heavy snow

It will be a dynamic end to the weekend in Atlantic Canada as wind and winter storm warnings set the stage for an active weather event. A powerful jet stream streaking over the North Atlantic will jump start a storm system that could bring intense winds, heavy precipitation, and maybe even a headache from the sudden pressure drop.

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Jet stream sweeps through Atlantic

A robust jet stream will cruise from the southeastern United States straight through the heart of the northern Atlantic.

Such intense winds ripping through the jet stream creates diverging winds aloft. These winds leave a void when they spread out, forcing air to rapidly rise from the surface to take its place.

atlwb
atlwb

That much air pulling upward creates a centre of low air pressure at the surface, which gathers strength the longer this setup remains in place.

This is the process we’ll see unfold Sunday, and the end result will be a rollicking couple of days of active weather for Atlantic Canada, with Newfoundland finding itself in line for the worst conditions through early next week.

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Impacts include blustery winds, heavy rainfall and snow

Rainy conditions will start our Sunday across the Maritimes as the low-pressure system begins to develop. The low will begin rapidly deepening through the day Sunday as it crosses the Gulf of St. Lawrence and approaches Newfoundland.

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A5

The system will reach peak strength on Monday as the centre of the low pulls north of the island with a minimum pressure equivalent to that of a formidable hurricane.

A significant pressure drop in 24 hours will easily meet the definition of bombogenesis, or the term meteorologists use to describe a low-pressure system that strengthens very quickly in a short period of time.

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A2

The resulting pressure gradient will lead to ripping winds across Newfoundland, which could easily exceed 100 km/h at times. Residents across the island, especially along coastal areas, should prepare for localized power outages, and secure loose objects that could blow around during high winds.

Cold air blowing in winds behind the low-pressure system will also lead to sea-effect snow across the Atlantic provinces.

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A6

Bands of snow are possible in the westerly and northwesterly winds that set up throughout the region on Sunday into Monday. Wind-driven snow could reduce visibility in spots and lead to difficult travel at times.

Eastern Nova Scotia is in line for a hefty amount of snow, potentially 40-50 cm by the time it ends. Western and northern Newfoundland will also be on the hook for significant snowfall, with 20-30 cm possible.