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Nor'easter targets Atlantic Canada, U.S.


Parts of the U.S. and New Brunswick could get a pre-Hallowe'en blast of snow this weekend
Parts of the U.S. and New Brunswick could get a pre-Hallowe'en blast of snow this weekend

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

October 29, 2011 — People in the Maritimes are bracing for poor conditions ahead of a potentially wintery storm. In the United States, 25 million people are under a winter storm warning.

Significant snow is expected in parts of Newfoundland
Significant snow is expected in parts of Newfoundland

An intense system that's brewing south of the border could bring parts of Canada and the U.S. its first big helping of snow this weekend.

Already, about 25 million Americans are under a winter storm warning. All three major U.S. east coast cities -- New York, Boston and Philadelphia -- could see a signficant accumulation of wet snow through Saturday, with inland areas set to receive more than 20 cm.

On the Canadian side of the border, a storm surge warning has been issued for parts of PEI and Nova Scotia.

In Newfoundland, Port aux Basques and Borneo are preparing for a double-whammy. Winds of up to 110 km/h are expected to develop Sunday evening, along with 25 cm of snow.

Western New Brunswick could see up to 20 cm of wet snow. Rainfall warnings are in effect for Moncton and Saint John.

Still, the forecast could change. The amount of snow that falls will all depend on the track of the system, as well as the temperatures.

“We'll start to feel the effects of this system on Saturday evening,” says Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, “but keep in mind that this is the time of year when temperatures are hovering just above the freezing mark. Therefore, any snow that falls will likely be heavy wet snow. Any small fluctuations in temperatures could greatly alter the amounts.”

A storm surge warning has been issued for parts of PEI and Nova Scotia
A storm surge warning has been issued for parts of PEI and Nova Scotia

By all indications, the storm is shaping up to be a classic nor'easter, which means intense northeasterly winds.

Nor'easters are rare in October, but not unheard of, says Rob Davis, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“When they do happen, there's usually not a lot of snow,” he says. “A storm like this is more typical for November or December.”

Eventually, the system will push into Newfoundland. Mainly rainfall is expected in the eastern part of the province, but snow could fall in central and western sections of the island.

Earlier this week, people in Newfoundland got their first big helping of snow. Several cm fell in places like Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor before heavy rain washed it away.

Denver, Colorado got a significant blast of winter this week, as well. The city was coated in more than 20 cm.

If you are in the path of the storm, now is a good time to ensure that your car is ready for winter. Remember though, conditions could also be dangerous for driving if the precipitation remains as rain.

For a closer look at the forecast for your community, be sure to check our Canadian Cities Index.

With files from Cheryl Santa Maria

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