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Winter storm looms for Atlantic Canada


Heavy snow and strong winds whipped across Newfoundland Thursday night
Heavy snow and strong winds whipped across Newfoundland Thursday night

Staff writers

February 11, 2012 — Atlantic Canadians are gearing up for another powerful storm this weekend.

NL snow totals
NL snow totals

One week after a series of storms winter hammered the province, people in Newfoundland†are cleaning up†from another helping of snow. A low pressure system charged up the US east coast on Thursday before affecting Cape Breton. By the late evening hours, the storm was impacting Newfoundland.

"We had 23 cm of snow fall in Gander," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Less than 5 cm was officially recorded in St. John's, but strong winds led to blowing and drifting snow."

That, in turn, led to poor visibility on roadways through the overnight hours and into Friday.

Now, Atlantic Canadians are gearing up for what could be a very wintery weekend.

"The next system is forming to the south once again, and this one could bring heavy snow, heavy rain and prolonged freezing rain and damaging winds to parts of the Maritimes Saturday night into Sunday," says Dillon.

Snow has already begun to accumulate in New Brunswick, and a variety of warnings are in place.

"If you pick a different city in each province, there is a very different story -- and they're all bad," says Rob Davis, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. He breaks down exactly what's in store for Maritimers.

Expected snowfall amounts with the next system on Saturday
Expected snowfall amounts with the next system on Saturday

HEAVY SNOW

An extended period of heavy snow is expected for much of New Brunswick, as well as parts of Nova Scotia and PEI.

Snowfall warnings (15cm of snow or more) are likely for Fredericton to Bathurst and eastward, the Bay of Fundy shores in Nova Scotia, and western PEI. The hardest hit areas will be the Greater Moncton area, Cumberland County, N.S. and Prince County, P.E.I., with 30-40 cm forecast for these areas. Winds will likely create some areas of reduced visibility due blowing to snow.

HEAVY RAIN

Areas of southern/eastern Nova scotia are expected to see 30-50 mm of rainfall on Saturday night into Sunday morning. Similar totals are expected for Newfoundland on Sunday.

PROLONGED FREEZING RAIN

There is a risk for a prolonged period of freezing rain through parts of Nova Scotia and P.E.I., including Charlottetown, Truro, and possibly Halifax. Freezing rain could fall for up to 9 hours, and some areas may see well over 10 mm of freezing rain, especially in eastern P.E.I. and the Northumberland Strait shores in Nova Scotia.

DAMAGING WINDS

Very strong winds are expected for eastern Newfoundland on Sunday morning, with wind gusts likely reaching over 100 km/h for almost all communities. Gusts over 120 km/h are expected for many coastal communities Ė including St.Johnís.

To stay up-to-date on current weather watches and warnings, be sure to check the Alerts section of the website.

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