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A messy start to the New Year for Atlantic Canada

2012 got off to a messy start in the Maritimes
2012 got off to a messy start in the Maritimes

Staff writers

January 1, 2012 — 2012 got off to a messy start for parts of Atlantic Canada. A system is bringing freezing rain, rain and snow to the region.

Parts of Nova Scotia saw more than 30 mm of rain
Parts of Nova Scotia saw more than 30 mm of rain

The system slid into the Maritimes Saturday. Temperatures were mild enough in Nova Scotia that most of the province saw only rain.

By 3 a.m. on January 1st, Halifax Stanfield Airport was reporting 32 mm, while Lunenburg saw 24 mm.

Strong Les Suetes winds also developed over northern Cape Breton Saturday night. A peak gust of 80 km/h was recorded at Grand Etang.

More rain is expected Sunday.

New Brunswick bore the wintery brunt of the storm. Bathurst saw 8 cm of snow earlier in the day Saturday, but the precipitation changed, and residents rang in 2012 with 10 hours of freezing rain mixed with ice pellets.

Moncton saw only 3 and a half hours of freezing rain early in the storm, but it was enough to cause chaos on the roads. Residents reported dozens of collisions around the city. City buses were also pulled off the roads.

New Year's Eve revellers were urged to give themselves extra time to get to and from their parties.

Flights were delayed in major Atlantic cities, including Saint John and Halifax.

Other parts of Atlantic Canada saw snow
Other parts of Atlantic Canada saw snow

In Newfoundland, midnight came and and went without much weather incident, but conditions deteriorated quickly in the first hours of 2012 as the system made its way over the province.

Snowfall warnings are in place for the Bonavista Peninsula, Terra Nova and Clarenville, with up to 25 cm expected through Sunday.

The Avalon could see a variety of wintery weather; snow started overnight for the northern Avalon, including St. John's, and could mix with rain later in the morning.

Most of the Burin Peninsula and the southern Avalon should see only rain, while the central and southwest regions have been seeing freezing rain.

Residents are advised to monitor watches and warnings and check highway conditions before heading out.

Did this storm put a damper on your New Year's Eve plans? Tell us in the comments below.

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