Jill Colton, staff writer
January 10, 2011 — It was a weekend of messy weather in parts of the Maritimes. Now, the same low that brought major snow to the region is bringing strong winds and pounding surf to Newfoundland.
Maritimers are no strangers to active weather. In fact, December was one of the region's busiest months in terms of storms. And so far, the month of January hasn't been much different.
Another low pressure system hammered New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI over the weekend, bringing significant snowfall accumulations to the provinces. Around 34 cm fell on Bathurst, New Brunswick, while Sydney, Nova Scotia, was coated with 17 cm and Charlottetown saw some 16 cm blanket the ground.
Now, that same system is moving through Newfoundland. Environment Canada says that very large waves will impact the northeast coast Monday evening. The surge is expected to spread southeast to the east coast by Tuesday afternoon. The combination of the large waves and pounding surf could result in minor flooding and damage.
Several wind warnings are in effect. “With the low passing east and the wraparound, winds have been gusting near 80 km/h,” explains Brian Dillon, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network. There's potential for gusts to peak at 110 km/h across the Bonavista Peninsula.
On a good note, temperatures remain comfortable. “Warm air on the north side of the low is keeping it mild. This is because the jet stream is moving farther north.”
Over the weekend, driving conditions were poor and numerous accidents were reported throughout the Maritimes. Three people remained in hospital Sunday following a collision between a pickup truck and a small bus near Lake Echo, N.S. The crash happened in blizzard-like conditions on Saturday, and 10 people were sent to the emergency room. The highway was closed for several hours as crews worked to remove the debris.
The region has been battered since the fall as storms have tracked into Atlantic Canada week after week. A nor'easter dumped heavy snow on New Brunswick a few days ago. While the latest storm isn't as intense as some of the previous ones, it certainly isn't helpful to places that have been damaged by the recent onslaught of severe weather.
The premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, says his province has suffered $13-million dollars in weather-related damages, and needs federal aid. Heavy rain and flooding this fall damaged roads and bridges in the Maritimes.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison, Lisa Varano and Andrea Stockton.