The first significant nor'easter of 2022 is getting set to roll in to New Brunswick and the rest of the Maritimes Friday morning, with heavy snow and howling winds into Friday night.
A widespread 20 to 30 cm of snowfall is expected for southeastern New Brunswick, with totals as high as 40 cm possible across higher terrain areas, according to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.
"The track of this system will be right along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, which makes this one a very tricky forecast for that coastline," Snoddon said.
"As of now, there's a good chance that near the coast we'll see the snow mix over to rain and drizzle. How much mixing we see is the million-dollar question and the exact track of the system is going to be the key."
With a track a bit further north and more mixing, snow totals near 5 cm are likely right along the Atlantic coast, he said.
"With a track just slightly further south and less mixing, totals along the coast could be closer to 15 to 20 cm. A shift of just 50 km north or south will make a big difference."
Strong winds, possible whiteout conditions
Along with snow, the storm is expected to bring howling winds in the 60 to 80 km/h range, which will lead to lots of blowing and drifting and possible whiteout conditions.
Places near the Bay of Fundy and Atlantic coastline could see gusts topping 90 km/h, Snoddon said, noting people in those areas should prepare for power outages.
"Even in the winter season with no foliage on the trees, these types of winds can lead to power outages," he said. "You should plan accordingly and check those emergency kits."
The snow looks set to move in quickly from west to east through Friday morning, arriving before noon for most. Winds will remain relatively light for the morning.
The afternoon and evening commute will be a snowy one for much of the region, with snow on the ground and snow generally accumulating at two to three centimetres per hour.
Winds will start to ramp up throughout the evening as the storm strengthens, with gusts in the 60 to 80 km/h range causing blowing snow and drifting conditions.
"As we move through the evening and overnight, the snow and blowing snow will continue across eastern areas, while the snow will begin to taper off for western areas," Snoddon said.
"By the time most of us are rolling out of bed on Saturday morning, the snow will have tapered off to some lingering flurries."
However, he said, strong winds will continue, especially across eastern areas.
The winds will continue to ease slowly throughout the day, but cold temperatures will make for a chilly cleanup on Saturday afternoon.
"While we do have a brief warm-up set for Sunday night into Monday, colder air looks set to return in a deep cold-air mass on Tuesday into Wednesday," Snoddon said.