Powerful winter storm walloping Atlantic Canada
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 5:25 -
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued coverage on this system.
Police report a five-vehicle pile-up in white-out conditions near Atlantic Canada's iconic Confederation Bridge, as a powerful winter storm moves through.
The Guardian in Charlottetown reports there were no serious injuries resulting from the collision, but the five vehicles involved are write-offs, and police are having trouble reaching the scene.
The bridge itself was closed to all traffic at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, until the current harsh conditions have moved on.
Confederation Bridge closed due to car pileup. #Atlstorm— Nathan Coleman (@NateTWN) February 16, 2014
Officials across the Maritimes are asking people to avoid unnecessary travel after the still-ongoing storm dumped large amounts of snow on the region.
This after the powerful Valentine's Day storm that left some residents digging out of 25-35 cm of snowfall.
Saturday night's strong storm will continue through the day, tapering off in the evening in the Maritimes although lingering in Newfoundland into Monday.
"Expect up to 30 cm of additional snow in parts of the Maritimes today, with blustery winds gusting over 100 km/h at times," Weather Network meteorologist Monica Vaswani said early Sunday morning.
Winter storm and snowfall warnings are in effect across the province, along with storm surge warnings for communities in counties fronting the Northumberland Strait, due to concerns over drifting ice damaging coastal infrastructure.
Those waves will have been whipped up by VERY stiff winds, with peak gusts exceeding 70 km/h, and people venturing outside will have to contend not just with the wind, but will cold temperatures as well.
"Icy conditions, including flash freeze warnings, are expected with temperatures plummeting in the Maritimes today," Vaswani said.
Those winds will also make for blowing snow, and there's plenty of the stuff in the hopper into Monday early morning, falling heaviest on New Brunswick and PEI.
Newfoundland, in the meantime, hasn't yet felt the worst, but Vaswani says the island is in for a similarly fierce winter hit, with even stronger winds.
"Freezing rain will impact the Avalon with heavy snow through the rest of the province," she says. "In parts of Newfoundland gusts, could exceed 160 km/h - equivalent to the sustained winds of a Category 2 Hurricane."
The system will begin to move across western Newfoundland in force starting Sunday evening.
Complicating matters with this system will be some rain as well, mostly in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
"All moisture changes to snow across Atlantic Canada by this evening with blowing snow still being a major factor," Vaswani adds.
Vaswani says the Maritimes dry out by tomorrow morning but snow will linger through Monday in Newfoundland.
As well, Weather Network forecasters are keeping a watchful eye on the coming week, with a potential for more storms on the horizon.
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