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Strong winds, sea-effect snow in Atlantic Canada on Wednesday

Tuesday, February 16th 2021, 8:37 pm - Numerous regions in Atlantic Canada will experience sea-effect snow and powerful wind gusts as a potent system exits the region.

A powerful winter storm that brought widespread effects across Atlantic Canada will continue to bring snow and strong winds on Wednesday. Mild conditions allowed for rain to fall in some areas, but cold air from the Arctic will track into the region and will create the conditions for sea-effect snow. Road conditions will be hazardous on Wednesday morning and Environment Canada warns motorists should proceed with extra care. Details and timing, below.


  • Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Newfoundland will see sea-effect snow on Wednesday
  • Another high-impact, messy storm anticipated to move in at the end of the week


Snow in the Maritimes will transition to freezing rain and eventually rain by Wednesday morning, which will linger for a few hours before tapering off. The early morning hours will most perilous in New Brunswick, where lingering freezing drizzle followed 10-15 cm of snow that fell on Tuesday.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas. Freezing rain warnings are issued when rain falling in sub-zero temperatures creates ice build-up and icy surfaces,” Environment Canada warns. Power outages are possible because of the ice accretion and wind gusts in parts of the Maritimes.


Even though the bulk of the precipitation will have fallen, strong winds from this low pressure system will continue to pack a punch. Much of the Maritimes may see gusts up to 60 km/h, but the Les Suêtes region could see gusts of up to 120 km/h Tuesday afternoon and evening. A Les Suêtes wind warning is in place.

Most areas in Newfoundland will see gusts of 50-70 km/h, though southern portions of the island including the Avalon may see westerly gusts of 90-100 km/h into Wednesday morning. The Wreckhouse area may also see wind gusts of 100 km/h during this time. Wind warnings are in place.

Newfoundland will also see various forms of precipitation on Wednesday morning. Snow that began falling in Newfoundland on Tuesday afternoon will change over to ice pellets and freezing rain for most of the island. A rainfall warning is in place for the southern Avalon as temperatures will be warm enough to bring heavy rain to the southern shores. Most of the precipitation from the system will move out by noon.


Sea-effect snow squalls will ramp up in the evening hours and both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland could see the snow quickly pile up. Northern areas of Nova Scotia could see between 5-10 cm of snow, northern Newfoundland could see up to 25 cm, and the Avalon will see less than 5 cm.

Beyond, another high-impact storm is expected at the end of the week with the potential for a wide variety of messy weather once more.

Be sure to check back as we continue to monitor the active setup across Atlantic Canada.

Thumbnail credit: Justin Stewart, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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