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Major winter storm for Atlantic Canada on tap for Valentine's Day

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Dayna Vettese
Meteorologist

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 7:56 AM -

Is that love forecast to be in the air this Valentine’s Day? 

It looks more like snow at this point... And maybe some recycling bins... If you’re tired of this winter, I don’t think you’re going to love this forecast. 

Also, if you’re a last-minute kind of guy or gal, we recommend you get your Valentine’s Day goodies ahead of time.

Aim for, latest, Thursday morning in the Maritimes and Thursday afternoon in Newfoundland.


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A powerful storm system is forecast to wreak havoc over the U.S. southeast and northeast this week with snow, rain, ice and winds. This low will then continue its track northward toward Atlantic Canada. Impacts from this system will begin Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday, Valentine’s Day.

Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories are in place from Texas to New Jersey, and everywhere in between. Significant icing is forecast by the National Weather Service occur in parts of the southern U.S. including Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Where the most significant icing will occur will, as always, depends on the exact track of this system.

Winter weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service in the U.S. ahead of the winter storm (as of February 10, 2014).

Winter weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service in the U.S. ahead of the winter storm (as of February 10, 2014).

The storm will continue its track up the east coast of the U.S. and make its way into the Maritimes Thursday afternoon. The snow will begin Thursday afternoon for the Maritimes and continue into Friday. Newfoundland will begin to feel the effects of the storm late Thursday.

Due to its origins, the system will be bringing milder air with it meaning there will be a boundary with a mix of rain and snow (possibly some freezing rain) and an area of rain. We have greater confidence that New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will remain all snow for the duration of the storms. Areas along the shores of the Bay of Fundy could see a changeover to rain but it will be short lived. Forecast model consensus shows that Nova Scotia and the majority of Newfoundland will begin as snow and should get a good helping of snow initially. A changeover to rain is then forecast for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. A brief period of rain-snow mix or freezing rain is possible before the change to rain. 

Canadian forecast model's solution to snowfall totals by Friday afternoon (in inches).

Canadian forecast model's solution to snowfall totals by Friday afternoon (in inches).

NEXT PAGE: HOW CERTAIN IS THE STORM'S TRACK?

This system will have a very heavy area of snow with it. The heaviest swath of snow should occur in the heart of New Brunswick with 25-35 cm possible. Nova Scotia should receive 10-15 cm of snow before a changeover to rain. The same goes for Newfoundland with 10-15 cm of snow on the Avalon Peninsula before a change to rain. The remainder of Newfoundland should receive 25+ cm of snow.


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The winds will be a big story for Atlantic Canada across all the provinces. Very strong wind gusts are forecast to impact all of Atlantic Canada Thursday night and throughout Friday. The image below shows the Canadian forecast model’s solution to sustained wind speeds Friday. The brown areas are sustained winds of 80 km/h or 44+ knots. Again, these are sustained winds and don’t include wind gusts. Gusts could reach 140 km/h in parts of Newfoundland Friday and up to 100 km/h in the Maritimes. The axis of strongest winds will again depend on the exact track of this storm but nonetheless, Thursday night and through the day Friday will be very windy across all of Atlantic Canada.

Canadian forecast model's solution to the storm's track by Friday morning and sustained wind speeds (in knots).

Canadian forecast model's solution to the storm's track by Friday morning and sustained wind speeds (in knots).

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