Valentine's Day storm hits Atlantic Canada, more snow on the way
Friday, February 14, 2014, 6:32 -
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued coverage of this storm.
Snowfall, rainfall, wind and winter storm warnings. This might not be the Valentine's Day forecast you had in mind.
A deepening low pressure system will track up the eastern seaboard on Thursday and continue to intensify as it moves across the Maritimes Friday.
"So there will definitely be more than love in the air in Atlantic Canada this Valentine's Day," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "Many parts of the Maritimes are under both rainfall and snowfall warnings."
Snow is expected to begin on Thursday afternoon before changing to rain, at times heavy, in Nova Scotia Thursday night.
"There is a risk of freezing rain over parts of northern Nova Scotia during the changeover to rain," says Environment Canada in the Thursday morning statement.
Significant rainfall is expected with the highest amounts along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia where up to 50 mm are forecast.
Snowfall amounts of up to 20 cm are forecast over the Highlands before changing over to rain Friday morning.
That, combined with wind gusts up to 100 km/h, could result in blowing snow and reduced visibilities in parts of Nova Scotia.
The Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia and the Wreckhouse area of Newfoundland are expecting gusts up to 150 km/h Friday morning.
In the wake of this storm, wind warnings may remain through Friday evening for a large part of Atlantic Canada, given that potentially dangerous winds are expected to remain well through Friday evening.
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"Snowfall rates will reach 2-3 cm/hr Thursday evening across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia," warns Gillham.
Over 30 cm of snow is possible in the hardest hit areas through Friday.
According to Gillham, the Fredericton area is at risk for significant ice accumulation as well.
"This will be more of a hazard for the surface rather than trees and power lines as the ground is very cold and freezing can still occur with air temperatures above freezing," says Gillham.
The Emergency Measures Organization is warning New Brunswick residents that heavy snow and powerful winds can increase the risk for power outages and hazardous driving conditions.
"Travel should be restricted during the storm and motorists should check road conditions before travelling after the storm," says EMO in a news release.
Officials say people should be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours following a significant storm like this.
"There will be a similar sequence of heavy snow to ice, then rain for the eastern two thirds of Newfoundland," says Gillham.
"Also, strong southeasterly winds will create a storm surge from Connaigre to Port-au-Basques on Friday morning," adds EC. "This will coincide with high astronomical tide as well as large waves and pounding surf and may cause minor flooding along parts of the coast."
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ANOTHER WEEKEND STORM TO WATCH
"Another storm will impact the region Saturday night through Sunday," says Gillham. "The storm will take more of an offshore track, so much of the region, except potentially coastal Nova Scotia should see snow. The swath of heaviest snow will be further to the south with this system."
The region is only looking at a 12 hour window between storms, with the second potentially being stronger than the first.
"The models are going back and forth, but it's possible that this second storm on Saturday could end up being worse than what we see Thursday into Friday," adds Monica Vaswani another meteorologist at The Weather Network.