Atlantic Canadians deal with a wet and windy Valentine's Day, power outages and school closures reported
Friday, February 14, 2014, 4:25 PM -
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued coverage of this storm.
It's a wet and windy Valentine's Day for many Atlantic Canadians.
Widespread warnings cover all four provinces as rain, snow and wind continue to lash the region.
"Thunderstorms crossed western Nova Scotia and parts of southern New Brunswick in the predawn hours Friday," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "A high wind threat continues across the region, especially coastal Nova Scotia and southern Newfoundland, including the Avalon."
According to Gillham, wind gusts could exceed 120 km/h across the Avalon, with gusts up to 150 km/h in Wreckhouse and Cape Breton.
"Gusts to 100 km/h are also possible in Nova Scotia behind the cold front Friday afternoon," Gillham adds.
The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman was out in the thick of the storm on Thursday night as the snow began to pick up in Moncton, New Brunswick.
"It's coming down quick and there are wide shots of the snow filling the camera frame," said Coleman. "The wind is blowing it sideways as cars try driving through it."
By 11 am, local time, on Friday places like Bathurst and Fredericton had already seen 30 cm of snow, while Moncton picked up closer to 5 cm.
Precipitation associated with this low will continue to fall as snow over northern sections of New Brunswick on Friday, while southern and central sections will see a transition to rain before changing back to light snow or flurries late in the day.
"Several hours of ice pellets or freezing rain are expected over central regions this morning," warned Environment Canada in a statement Friday.
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More snow and gusty winds could result in blowing snow and reduced visibilities and drivers are urged to adjust travel plans accordingly.
Motorists are also being advised not to travel on the Trans-Canada Highway through the province unless necessary.
SCHOOL CLOSURES AND POWER OUTAGES
Although Valentine's Day is not a statutory holiday, many schools in New Brunswick shut their doors early Friday, while the stormy conditions also delayed the opening of several businesses.
School delays and cancellations were reported in parts of Nova Scotia and PEI as heavy rain and localized flooding slowed the Friday morning commute.
The city of Halifax, NS picked up 50 mm of rain, while Charlottetown, PEI recorded around 20 mm by Friday morning.
Over 4,500 customers in Nova Scotia were without power early Friday and several flights at the Halifax airport were cancelled as well.
Marine Atlantic cancelled Friday morning crossings to and from Newfoundland and warns travelers that the boats might stay in port Friday night.
Heavy snow, strong winds and blowing snow can be expected across the province on Friday.
Snow began over southwestern Newfoundland Friday morning and will continue to spread to the rest of the island.
Upwards of 30 cm of snow is possible in the hardest hit areas through Saturday morning.
Environment Canada has also issued a storm surge warning as high waves and pounding surf are expected to result in elevated water levels during high tide on Saturday morning.
"These waves are expected to produce elevated water levels and may cause damage to coastal infrastructure," EC warns.
MORE TO COME
This Valentine's Day storm is round one of two major storms set to hit the region this weekend.
Between 15-30 cm of snow could accompany this second system.
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