Thursday, January 27th 2022, 8:53 pm - A sprawling, high-impact winter storm will bring significant amounts of snow, ice, and rain to Atlantic Canada this weekend.
We’re closely watching a major winter storm that will set its sights on Atlantic Canada on Saturday and Sunday. The system will leave behind significant amounts of snow, ice, and rain along its path. Blizzard conditions are possible during the height of the storm on Saturday. More on what you need to know about this high-impact winter storm, and what you should do now to prepare, below.
FRIDAY NIGHT: THE STORM DEVELOPS OFF THE U.S. EAST COAST
A low-pressure system will develop off the North Carolina coast on Friday night, rapidly intensifying as it parallels the eastern seaboard and heads toward the Maritimes. The low’s swift and powerful intensification will easily fulfill the criteria to call the system a bomb cyclone.
Winter storm watches also line the U.S. East Coast from North Carolina to Maine. Some communities stateside could see as much as 50 cm of snow, with the highest totals possible in parts of Massachusetts in Maine.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued widespread special weather statements for Atlantic Canada, advising residents of the potential for "a very intense winter storm."
The sprawling system’s precipitation will begin to arrive in the Maritimes early Saturday morning, spreading across the region throughout the day. High winds resulting from the storm’s swift strengthening will accompany the precipitation across the region.
This storm's size and wide temperature spread means we’ll see the whole spectrum of wintry precipitation across the region, with heavy snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, and rain along the track of the storm. Each province will experience the system differently. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.
NEW BRUNSWICK AND PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: HEAVY SNOW, SOME ICE MIXES IN ACROSS P.E.I.
New Brunswick will remain to the west of the storm’s track, meaning the province will likely remain all-snow for the duration of the storm. As such, the highest snowfall totals are possible across southern New Brunswick, including Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John. These areas could see 20-40 cm of snow by the end of the storm.
It’ll be a similar story across the strait on Prince Edward Island, where 15-30 cm of wind-driven snow is possible by the end of the storm. Warm air aloft will become a factor for P.E.I. as the centre of the storm crosses the province and changes the snow over to ice pellets and freezing rain. We’re likely to see a snowfall gradient across the island, with Tignish and Summerside potentially notching higher snowfall totals than Charlottetown and Souris.
High winds, potentially gusting as high as 100 km/h at times, will lead to extended periods of whiteout or near-whiteout conditions during the height of the storm. Stay indoors and avoid travel during periods of low visibility. It’s very easy to become disoriented in blowing snow, even if you’re close to home on your own property.
Snow will slowly draw to an end overnight Saturday into Sunday morning as the storm pulls away toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
WATCH: WHAT, EXACTLY, IS A 'WEATHER BOMB'?
NOVA SCOTIA: A SLOPPY MIX OF SNOW, ICE, AND RAIN IS LIKELY
The track of our major winter storm will leave Nova Scotia in that uncomfortable position where all precipitation types are possible.
Precipitation that begins as snow will likely change over to ice pellets and freezing rain as the centre of the storm draws closer during the day on Saturday. Warm air will change precipitation over to all rain for areas including Halifax and Cape Breton.
We’re likely to see the heaviest snowfall totals along the Fundy shores, where some communities could pick up 15-30 cm of snow by the end of the precipitation on Sunday morning. Across the rest of the province, the eventual changeover to ice and rain will keep totals lower, with about 10-20 cm expected around Halifax and lower totals likely up toward Cape Breton.
Stay aware of the risk for coastal flooding during the storm, as well. Persistent high winds could push a minor storm surge into vulnerable stretches of coastline across Nova Scotia.
NEWFOUNDLAND: MOSTLY SNOW IN THE WEST, MOSTLY RAIN IN THE EAST
The bulk of the Atlantic’s storm will reach Newfoundland later in the day Saturday and last into Sunday afternoon for much of the island.
Most folks in Newfoundland will find themselves on the warm side of this storm, with less than 5 cm of snow possible on the Avalon Peninsula before we change over to a cold rain. Rainfall totals of 10-20 mm are possible across the Avalon and Burin Peninsulas, with locally higher totals possible.
Farther west, temperatures will stay cold enough for decent snowfall totals throughout the storm. Communities from Corner Brook to St. Anthony could wind up with 15-30 cm of snow into Sunday.
STAY SAFE: PREPARE FOR HIGH WINDS AND POWER OUTAGES
The impending storm’s high winds and heavy snow and ice could cause damage to trees and power lines. Make sure to secure or remove any loose objects that could blow around during gusty winds. Remain mindful of trees or tree limbs that could fall during the storm.
The combination of heavy snow and high winds could lead to scattered power outages this weekend. It’s a good idea to prepare now for potential power outages.
Make sure you have ready-to-eat food if you can’t cook during a power outage. Charge up mobile devices before the storm arrives and keep a rechargeable battery pack on hand to juice up your device when needed. Dig out flashlights and fresh batteries so you don’t have to strain your cell phone battery looking around in the dark.
Thumbnail courtesy of Gottfried von Rathonyi
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for all the latest on this major winter storm.