Intense and dangerous Nor'easter to impact Atlantic Canada midweek
Monday, March 24, 2014, 8:08 -
In an already brutal Canadian winter, the storm approaching Atlantic Canada right now might be the one Canadians talk about the most.
"Forecast confidence is high that an intense Nor'easter will impact Atlantic Canada midweek and that strong and damaging winds combined with snowfall will lead to blizzard conditions for some areas," Monica Vaswani, The Weather Network meteorologist, explained. "Forecast confidence is moderate as to the exact location of the heaviest snow and precipitation types due to a track dependency.
"This is one of the strongest storms I've seen to date," added Vaswani, referencing her experience over the last couple of years.
And while Atlantic Canadians are used to powerful spring systems, this is looking like a 'blockbuster storm' for Wednesday.
ATLANTIC CANADA: Six things to know about the coming Nor'easter
"An intense and dangerous Nor'easter is forecast to impact Atlantic Canada midweek with heavy amounts of precipitation, very strong and damaging winds and pounding surf/storm surge," Vaswani says. "Wind-related impacts will be the greatest effect of this Nor’easter. Models consistently indicating rapid cyclogensis (deepening of the low) leading to dangerous winds combined with heavy snowfall. Blizzard conditions likely for portions of Atlantic Canada Wednesday through Friday morning."
Coastal flooding could also be an issue with sea ice being pushed onshore.
"Power outages are possible as well as the wind field with this system is extensive," warns Vaswani. "This is likely the most powerful storm of the winter/spring 2013-2014 season and if this were summer, we would likely be identifying this system as a Tropical Storm."
THE TIMING OF THE STORM
According to Vaswani, the Nor'easter will move into the Maritimes on Wednesday morning with winds rapidly intensifying throughout the day.
"Heavy snowfall if expected across the Maritimes with the possible exception a changeover to rain for the Atlantic shores of Nova Scotia (this will be highly track dependent)," Vaswani adds.
The heavy snow combined with very strong winds will lead to very dangerous travel and blizzard conditions and motorists are being urged to adjust travel plans accordingly.
Plan for near complete travel shutdown Wednesday across the Maritimes. We can take a good punch, but this is a haymaker #atlstorm— Chris Scott (@ChrisScottWx) March 24, 2014
There is also a risk of freezing rain over parts of northern Nova Scotia as warmer air aloft wraps back into the storm system.
LIVE STREAMING: Check back for LIVE stream coverage of this storm on theweathernetwork.com Wednesday
The preliminary precipitation amounts show a swath of 30+ cm of snow possible across the Maritimes, though forecasters warn the exact location of the heaviest snow will depend on the track of the system.
"The finer details of location of heaviest snow will become more evident as we draw closer midweek," Vaswani adds.
The Nor'easter is expected to move in midday Wednesday, continuing to impact the province through Friday morning.
Up to 30 cm of snow is forecast across central and western parts of the region with a rain changeover possible for the Avalon.
Wind gusts up to 140 km/h are expected Wednesday night with gusts over 100 km/h possible through the day on Thursday.
TUNE IN FOR LIVE COVERAGE: Chris St. Clair will on location in PEI, Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott and Meteorologist Mark Robinson will be monitoring the storm from Cape Breton and Nathan Coleman will be on location in Halifax.