Major winter storm on the way for P.E.I.

·2 min read
Islanders will get their workouts this weekend shovelling, as a storm is expected to dump up to 40 centimetres of snow. (CBC - image credit)
Islanders will get their workouts this weekend shovelling, as a storm is expected to dump up to 40 centimetres of snow. (CBC - image credit)

A winter storm is on its way to Prince Edward Island Friday: Environment Canada has upgraded its winter storm watch for all of P.E.I. to a winter storm warning.

Heavy snow with reduced visibility due to blowing snow is forecast to begin Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday morning.

Temperatures began to fall from a balmy 8 C in Charlottetown Thursday morning and will continue to do so into the overnight hours.

CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland says 20-30 centimetres of snow may fall, with as much as 40 centimetres possible in some areas depending on the track of the storm.

Strong northeast to northwest winds with 60-90 km/h gusts will develop Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, he said, and are likely to make road conditions very bad. Winds will begin to ease Saturday with 50-70 km/h gusts still possible in the morning.

"My main concerns are for messy roads and reduced visibility due to blowing and drifting with this combination of heavy snow and strong wind," Scotland said. "Local power outages are also possible as snow-covered branches and power lines are also impacted by this storm's very strong wind."

Scotland said he is anticipating elevated water levels surrounding the Island, particularly for the North Shore, as strong northerly winds move more water into the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Jay Scotland/CBC
Jay Scotland/CBC

"High waves and pounding surf may be an issue for coastal areas. A special weather statement is in effect for higher than normal water levels, especially during periods of high tide," he said.

Environment Canada said Islanders should expect "hazardous winter conditions" and near-zero visibility at times, and asked Islanders to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.

Air Canada tweeted it will waive change fees for flights in and out of the Charlottetown Airport.

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