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Major winter storm to hit Atlantic Canada, widespread warnings issued

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6:50 PM -


STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for the latest coverage of this storm.


Rain, freezing rain, heavy snow and strong winds. Winter refuses to loosen its grip on the Atlantic provinces.

The system that brought heavy snow, multiple car accidents and and least 6,000 power outages to southern Ontario is taking aim at eastern Canada, but not before packing a punch in parts of Quebec.

This low pressure system is expected to intensify as it moves across the Maritimes on Thursday.

"Snow will creep into the region Wednesday evening," says Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm. "For areas north of the Bay of Fundy expect freezing rain and snow, but areas south of that line can expect mostly rain."

Flash freeze warnings are in effect for parts of Nova Scotia, including Halifax, with upwards of 40 mm expected through Thursday.

"Winter storm conditions are more likely over northern Nova Scotia where temperatures will be slightly colder to give snow and blowing snow changing through ice pellets to a potential extended period of freezing rain by Thursday morning," says Environment Canada in the statement.

A winter storm warning covers much of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, with up to 25 cm of snow possible in some places.

In addition to the heavy snow and strong winds will also give reduced visibilities in blowing snow.

"Parts of the region will see true blizzard conditions, which could result in hazardous driving," warns Soderholm.

Much less snow is expected in Newfoundland, but heavy rain has prompted rainfall warnings across the province as well.

Up to 45 mm is expected in the hardest hit areas through Friday.

"For south coast regions, snow will change through freezing rain to rain at times heavy by Thursday morning," EC says. "Warm temperatures combined with these rainfall amounts will lead to significant snow melt, which can cause localized flooding."

HOW COMMON IS SNOW IN MARCH?

Make no mistake: This winter has been particularly harsh, but by this time of year many Canadians are used to seeing the winter weather gradually fade away. Cities in Atlantic Canada -- like Halifax N.S., Fredericton N.B. and St John's Nfld., -- typically see 37.1 cm, 49.4 cm and 57.3 cm of March snow, respectively. It looks like the majority of that will accumulate this week, courtesy of the next storm.

Blizzard conditions, plunging temperatures create 'road weather nightmare' in Ontario
Drivers beware: Winter storm brings heavy snow, powerful winds to Quebec
Full gamut of winter weather headed to Atlantic Canada

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