A rapidly intensifying winter storm has set its sights on Atlantic Canada and is expected to bring significant impacts to the region. Through Tuesday, parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland could see 30-40 cm of snow and locally higher amounts near 50 cm are not out of the question. In fact, there is the potential that Halifax could see a month's worth of snowfall with this storm. The storm's heavy impacts will be amplified by intense winds, making for blizzard conditions and blowing snow, worsening the travel outlook. Details and timing, below.
Current models suggest 30-40 cm of snow for Nova Scotia, up to 50 cm possible over Cape Breton Highlands, widespread 15-25 cm for Newfoundland, up to 50 cm in western sections
Winds will be blustery, 60-80+ km/h gusts for the Maritimes beginning Sunday evening, ramping up in Newfoundland Monday morning
SNOWSTORM WILL BRING SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL TOTALS
Nova Scotia will wake up to falling snow on Monday that will rapidly accumulate and coincide with strong northeasterly winds. Blowing snow is expected to reduce visibilities through the morning hours and could cause hazardous road conditions.
None of the Maritimes will be spared from this system's snow and Nova Scotia will feel the brunt of it. Between 30 and 40 cm is expected for inland sections and pockets of accumulations pushing close to 50 cm are possible, especially in Cape Breton.
Closer to the shorelines, 25-30 cm is expected. New Brunswick's amounts range from 10-15 cm near the Fundy Coast, down to 5-10 cm for communities closer to the Quebec Border.
The snow will depart the Maritimes early Monday morning, however, winds will remain gusty. With prolonged winds and heavy snow, blizzard conditions are likely for much of the region and travel is not recommended during blowing snow.
“Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays,” Environment Canada warns.
Newfoundland is also on track to see some substantial snowfall totals. Some areas in western Newfoundland could see up to 50 cm by Monday morning while the rest of the island could see 15-20 cm by Tuesday morning. Most of the snow will have fallen by Monday, but there is the potential that the island could see some lingering snow through Tuesday.
The winds will be intense with this system and many regions in the Maritimes will see gusts between 60-80 km/h and some coastal sections could exceed 90 km/h. The winds will increase in Newfoundland throughout Monday morning and are expected to persist through early Tuesday.
MONTH'S WORTH OF SNOWFALL?
So far this winter, Halifax has reported about 88 cm of snow and the climate normal for the season is about 149 cm. Its average snowfall for February is 45.4 cm, which is in jeopardy with the forecast of 30-40 cm for inland sections of Nova Scotia with the incoming storm.
LOOK AHEAD: ANOTHER STORM ON THE HORIZON BUT TRACK UNCERTAIN
Another storm is expected for Wednesday, but that storm track is highly uncertain. Model scenarios range from a more northerly track with rain for southern areas and heavy snow for central and northern areas of the region, to an offshore track with snow just clipping southern areas.
Be sure to check back as we continue to monitor the active setup across Atlantic Canada.
Thumbnail credit: Nathan Coleman