Potent storm brings risk of localized flooding and power outages to East Coast

An impactful storm with winter and spring effects will douse the East Coast with up to 100 mm of rain and bring wind gusts as high as 100 km/h, accompanied by unusual warmth and a sharp temperature plummet that could result in a flash freeze

With astronomical spring just a few weeks away, Atlantic Canada is getting a decent sneak preview of the upcoming season with the latest storm to push in.

Ontario and Quebec saw the effects earlier this week, with record warmth, thunderstorms, hail, snow, and now, a flash freeze. The East Coast can anticipate much of the same hazards through Thursday.

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Two of the biggest hazards will be the soaking rains, with 60-100 mm possible for parts of the New Brunswick, and the blustery winds, with gusts up to 100 km/h for some. Rainfall and wind warnings are widespread in the Maritimes, with the latter alerts covering parts of western Newfoundland.

Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads, so travelling is not recommended during the storm.

Thursday: Localized flooding, power outage risk

The Maritimes were the first in the region to see impacts from the inbound system. The heaviest time period for the rainfall will be through Wednesday overnight. Anticipate slow commute times as conditions will be poor.


Wind gusts will be quite blustery again on Thursday, reaching 80-100 km/h for the southern Maritimes in the morning before easing into the afternoon. Make sure your devices will be charged as some power outages are expected due to the winds.

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It may be tough to drive as a result of the winds, so exercise caution if on the roads.

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By Thursday afternoon, rainfall will ease in the western Maritimes while beginning to fall in Newfoundland. It will be quick for the latter, as the rain will depart in the overnight period.

People will need to be cautious around waterways as a quick snowmelt from rising temperatures and rain could cause some rivers to overflow their banks.

However, precipitation will be steady for the eastern Maritimes with some snow on the backside. Light rain is anticipated for southwestern Newfoundland, with northern and eastern regions seeing precipitation that is more scattered and lighter.


Rainfall amounts will be heaviest in in southwestern areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with 60-100 mm possible for the former and 40-60 mm for the latter. Amounts of 20-40 mm are possible for the northern half of New Brunswick and a good chunk of southern Nova Scotia, with up to 50 mm for southwestern Newfoundland.

A strong cold front will then track across the region on Thursday, forcing temperatures to drop through the morning and afternoon for the Maritimes. Some areas of New Brunswick will dive down 20-25 degrees in six hours, while around a 10-degree drop is expected in Nova Scotia and P.E.I.

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Localized flooding will remain a concern for the Maritimes with snowmelt on Thursday. The good news is that the heavy rain is not associated with the greatest amount of snow on the ground.

Friday and beyond: Temperatures plummet before weekend rebound

Looking ahead, conditions will turn blustery and cold, with sea-effect snow, on Friday, but temperatures will rebound greatly on Saturday. Daytime high values will reach the double digits for much of the Maritimes. 


Temperatures will be more typical of April, and even May, across the Maritimes through the middle of next week. Newfoundland will turn very mild for a few days next week. A couple of systems will bring primarily rain to the region mid- and late next week.

An active pattern is expected through mid-March, and it is possible that there will be more cold air available for messy systems during the second week of the month.

Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest forecast updates for Atlantic Canada.