Powerful snow storm closes schools, cancels flights across Atlantic Canada
Monday, December 16, 2013, 10:00 -
After bringing the first significant widespread snowfall to much of Ontario, a powerful winter storm continued to track into Atlantic Canada this weekend.
The low pressure system continued to intensify as it tracked into the region early Sunday, prompting winter storm and snowfall warnings across the Atlantic provinces.
"This system brought heavy snow, strong winds and poor visibilities," said Environment Canada.
Between 15-40 cm of snow fell across the Maritimes resulting in numerous flight cancellations and power outages.
Ferry crossings between Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick were also cancelled, but VIA Rail says its trains are on schedule Monday morning, despite the storm.
In Nova Scotia, the snow changed to a messy mix of ice pellets and freezing rain Sunday afternoon making for treacherous driving.
"The Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market was forced to shut its doors on the waterfront where ice pellets whipped around the boardwalk," said The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman who was in the thick of the storm all weekend long. "City crews worked diligently, but it was a slippery slope on Halifax streets after all the freezing rain. Better to shovel aside the slush however, then wait for it to freeze up once again."
The storm continued to track into Newfoundland on Sunday, where strong winds and blowing snow are expected to persist on Monday.
"Strong northeasterly winds across Newfoundland are combining with the freshly fallen snow to produce blowing snow and reduced visibilities across much of the island," says Environment Canada in their statement early Monday. "Blowing snow will persist into Monday northwest of the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas as the winds shift to strong north to northwesterlies."
High seas and pounding surf conditions are also expected along the southern portions of the Avalon and Burin Peninsulas.
Up to 30 cm of snow has already fallen across parts of the island, with an additional 5-10 cm possible through Tuesday.
Several schools across the region closed their doors Monday morning, while travelers in St. John's were grounded due to cancelled flights.
NEXT STORM ON THE WAY:
With conditions expected to gradually improve through the day on Monday, forecasters are watching another messy winter system expected to impact Newfoundland midweek.
"A low pressure system is forecast to move off the East Coast of the United States late Tuesday and approach Newfoundland Wednesday night bringing a wintry mix of snow, rain and strong winds across the island," EC says in their special weather statement. "This system has the potential to bring significant snowfall amounts and blowing snow to Western and Northern Newfoundland on Wednesday and Wednesday night. For Eastern Newfoundland, the snow is expected to change over to rain and there is the potential for significant rainfall amounts by Thursday morning."