The stretch of glorious spring weather that has graced much of Atlantic Canada this week will come crashing to an end on Friday, as a strong spring storm tracks through the region. Gusty winds and wide varying preciptation types threatens everything from heavy snow and ice to soaking rain and even a few rumbles of thunder at times. Beyond that, forecasters are also closely monitoring a storm system in the long range, one that looks to translate into a major winter-like storm starting Sunday. More on these two rounds of severe weather, and what areas could end up with 40+ cm of snow by next week, below.
Potent low on Friday will bring heavy snow, a swath of freezing rain, and persistent rain in the south
Threat for ice and heavy snow will push into Newfoundland by Friday night
Maritimes clear through Saturday, but heavy snow persists across Newfoundland
FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY: HARSH SNAP BACK INTO WINTER AS MAJOR STORM PUSHES IN
Mild and pleasant spring weather will continue for another day on Thursday, with double-digit temperatures for New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia.
That stretch of glorious conditions however, will come to a quick halt by Friday as a far reaching storm makes it way into the region.
With mild temperatures in place, rain will push in from the west on Friday afternoon, spreading across the Maritimes by the evening hours.
"But thanks to strong high pressure over northern Quebec, cold air will press in, beginning a changeover to ice and then snow across the northern tier of the system," says Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter.
By Friday night, heavy snow and the threat for ice will push into Newfoundland, as rain ice and snow continue across the Maritimes.
On Saturday morning, clearing will begin in the south and west, but heavy snow will persist for Newfoundland as cold air continues to press through.
The exact precipitation types at any given location will be very sensitive to the storm's exact track, but it looks like the heaviest swath of snow will fall across the Gaspe, northern New Brunswick, and Newfoundland where 20-25 cm will be possible.
Across central New Brunswick, between 30-50 mm of rain may fall, heightening the flood risk there. Lesser amounts are expected as you move south away from the storm's track.
"Heavier downpours and a few embedded thunderstorms are possible across southern New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia as well," Carter adds.
In between these two zones will be the greatest threat for ice accretion and potential travel complications as well.
In addition, the system will be accompanied by gusty winds as well, with coastal areas potentially seeing gusts of 70-90 km/h at times.
LATE WEEKEND: EYES ON THE NEXT MAJOR STORM THREAT
Just as conditions begin to improve from this first potent spring storm, the focus will then shift to another major winter-like storm starting later Sunday and into early next week.
While conditions will once again depend on the exact track of the system, a more southerly track means widespread heavy wet snow will extend further south into Atlantic Canada.
"A swath of very heavy snow is expected, with 20-40 cm possible expected for much of central and northern New Brunswick, especially north of Fredericton and Moncton," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "But a messy mix with significant snow is likely for both cities and across western Newfoundland as well."
The heaviest snow will be across much of eastern Quebec, northeast of Quebec City, and across the Gaspe Peninsula, and into Labrador, with 25-50+ cm of snow possible through early next week. The snow looks to change over to rain across southern and central Newfoundland.
This storm looks to also bring strong winds, with gusts of 70 to 100+ km/h to the region.
Check back as we continue to monitor the Atlantic Canada forecast.