Spring begins: Freezing rain then more snow for East Coast
Digital News Reporter
Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 7:39 AM - The wintry weather continues for parts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, despite the changing calendar, as several rounds of freezing rain make for a messy start to Spring.
A system that dumped 17 cm of snow on Halifax Sunday continues to slide past the province into Tuesday, bringing periods of freezing rain continuing through the mid-afternoon for eastern mainland Nova Scotia and through the late afternoon for eastern Cape Breton.
Newfoundland plays host to the bulk of the system Tuesday, with a mix of snow, rain, and freezing rain.
- Broad area of low-pressure shifting past offshore keeps weather unsettled for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland through Tuesday.
- Freezing rain re-developed overnight for eastern Nova Scotia, lasting through Tuesday afternoon.
- Rain continues in eastern Newfoundland through Tuesday, with freezing rain in west and central Newfoundland, and snow on the western shores.
- A weak system moves into the Maritimes Tuesday night bringing moderate snow to southern New Brunswick, light snow to Nova Scotia.
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Much of Newfoundland and eastern Nova Scotia remain under weather warnings Tuesday -- Newfoundland seeing a mix of freezing rain, winter storm, and rainfall warnings, with eastern Nova Scotia limited to freezing rain warnings only.
"Periods of freezing rain are expected to end by mid-afternoon over eastern mainland Nova Scotia, and by late afternoon over eastern Cape Breton, as a low pressure system south of Nova Scotia continues to track northeastward," Environment Canada said in a rainfall warning for Halifax. "Localized amounts of more than 10 mm are likely."
As the freezing rain wraps up for eastern Nova Another, another round of snow is possible on the back edge of the system - mainly for Pictou and Antigonish counties and Cape Breton - when the low finally moves away Tuesday evening.
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Meanwhile, moderately heavy snow in southern Newfoundland will be followed for many by a healthy round of rainfall, particularly over the Avalon, where up to 25 mm of rain is expected by Tuesday night.
"Snow will spread over southeastern Labrador this evening with strengthening northeasterly winds, resulting in blowing snow and reduced visibilities," Environment Canada said in a winter storm warning for Norman Bay to Lodge Bay. "The heaviest accumulations will likely occur over areas north of Red Bay, where totals are forecast to range from 15 to 25 cm. Lesser amounts, between 5 and 10 cm, are expected along coastal sections near the Strait of Belle Isle."
The combination of significant snow followed by potentially heavy downpours has prompted Environment Canada to issue both rainfall and freezing rain warnings for the Burin and Avalon peninsulas.
"[Rainfall] amounts combined with snow melt could lead to significant runoff tonight and Tuesday," Environment Canada says. "Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible."
A Look Ahead: What's next
"Another system (consisting of two lows) on Wednesday/Thursday [brings] a swath of snow (and wind), primarily for the central Maritimes and across Newfoundland," says The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. The snow will change to rain for southeast Newfoundland, including the Avalon.
Atlantic Canada will see the "[c]oldest weather in Canada relative to normal in the long-range, as the region will be below-seasonal for the weekend and well into next week," Gillham adds, highlighting the contrast between the spring-like conditions expected for parts of the southern Prairies through the seven days.