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Atlantic Canada | Fourth nor'easter

Nor'easter triggers thundersnow in Maritimes, ongoing risks

Digital writers

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 8:37 PM - The fourth nor'easter to impact Atlantic Canada this month continues to affect the region, with heavy snow lasting through the night into Friday for some areas. 

Coupled with strong northeasterly winds, visibility will be difficult, making for difficult travel as it carries on. Expect up to 30 cm to pile up in the hardest hit places, and there have already been reports of rare thunderstorm.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2018 for an in depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more.


  • Snow began over Nova Scotia and eastern P.E.I. early Thursday, with a changeover to freezing rain and rain.
  • Snow continues through Friday night in the Maritimes
  • Heavy snow expected west of the Bay of Fundy and for western P.E.I.


The system moved past the Maritimes on Thursday, set to push east of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by Friday morning. While snow is the primary threat with this storm, a full gamut of wintry conditions could complicate travel. 

"Snow at times heavy will taper to flurries later this evening. Total snowfall amounts of 15 to 30 centimetres are expected," Environment Canada says. "The snow will be accompanied by strong northeasterly winds giving reduced visibility in blowing snow."

The heaviest snow totals are expected for Nova Scotia's Colchester and Cumberland counties as well as southeastern New Brunswick and western P.E.I. where 15-30 cm could fall through Friday. 

"Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions," warns EC. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow."

WATCH BELOW - 'A little bit of everything': Halifax seeing messy weather during this fourth nor'easter


Snow was set to begin Thursday night into Friday over central, western, and northeastern Newfoundland with amounts expected to reach or exceed 10 cm on Thursday and additional amounts expected for Friday.

In eastern and southern Newfoundland, snow, freezing rain and rain is likely as temperatures approach and exceed the freezing mark, with an extended period of freezing rain possible if temperatures take their time rising. In the west and north, snow continues through Friday morning.

The system snow ends by Friday afternoon, however, with north winds, sea enhancement will continue for Green Bay/White Bay, and Bay of Exploits areas through Saturday.


There's another system to watch for the upcoming weekend, which is the official first weekend of spring. 

"We're watching a large and and slow moving storm over the Atlantic next week, which will remain well off shore for much of the week, but some rain expected mid to late week as the outer fringes of the system impact the region," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "Also, several days of large waves can be expected for southern coasts."

Be sure to check back as we continue to follow the system.

WATCH BELOW: Jaw-dropping amounts of snow cover homes in New Brunswick community, see it

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