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The early nor'easter that left the Maritimes with a messy storm

Friday, October 22nd 2021, 4:37 am - On this day in weather history, a nor'easter hit the Maritimes.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On October 22, 2014, a four-day nor'easter came to life across the Maritimes. A nor'easter is an extratropical cyclone, but with its defining feature, winds coming from the northeast.

The Maritimes are no strangers to storms, but nor'easters generally come around during the winter, and they don't usually last four days.

Nor'easters are like hurricanes but they aren't tropical storms. They get their energy from the convergence of the colder Canadian air and warmer mid/south Atlantic waters.

Unlike tropical cyclones, which are warm-core low-pressure systems, nor'easters are cold-core low-pressure systems.

Compass thumbnail "Compass card (1607), featuring the spelling "Noreast"." Courtesy of Wikipedia

Nor'easters are extra spicy, because not only can they produce torrential rain and howling winds, but they can also bring heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions.

During this four-day storm, the Maritimes received between 100 and 160 mm of rain. The winds also reached speeds of 189 km/h.

In Nova Scotia, the nor'easter brought both snow and rain. The mix of precipitation made it difficult to use a snowblower to clear roads and driveways. The poor weather conditions caused more than a dozen accidents in Nova Scotia. Motorist Don Campbell said he witnessed one fellow driver skid across a roadway.

“We were only doing around 40 kilometres and she just took to the slide and she wouldn’t straighten out,” said Don Campbell, a Nova Scotia residence, adding: “she went in the ditch quite gently.”

To learn more about the never-ending nor'easter, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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