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Snowstorm for the Maritimes

Patrick Cool, meteorologist

November 21, 2008 — A white blanket will greet the Maritimes this Saturday morning. Get those shovels waxed, polished and ready.

The Arctic air mass that entrenched itself over parts of central and eastern Canada is sinking further south towards the US Atlantic seaboard. As the cold air treks over the relatively warm bathtub water that is the Atlantic Ocean, a rapidly intensifying low pressure system is developing. Forecast models are in good agreement to track this low between New Glasgow and Port Hawkesbury, through eastern PEI and onwards towards Labrador.

The story is of another kind for the Maritime Provinces. Central mainland Nova Scotia and Eastern PEI will bear the brunt of this strong late fall storm. The snowfall will begin Friday evening as the system trudges northward and become heavy at times overnight. Amounts nearing 30cm will fall by midday Saturday with lesser amounts west of a line from Halifax to Charlottetown. Moncton and eastern New Brunswick will see near 15cm, meanwhile Fredericton will see amounts near 3-5cm. East of Port Hawksbury, the precipitation will fall mainly as rain although 10-15cm of snow is possible over the higher terrain of the Cape Breton Highlands. PEI will receive 20-25cm of the fluffy white stuff.

Along with the snow, Maritimers will have to deal with strong northwesterly winds blowing the snow around, reducing visibility and causing a wind chill factor. This may also skew snowfall totals as some of the snow will end up in drifts.

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