Blizzard tapers in the Maritimes but continues to pack a punch in Newfoundland
Friday, January 3, 2014, 3:00 PM -
STORM WATCH: Tune in on TV as we track this major system.
The first blizzard of 2014 is moving through Atlantic Canada, prompting residents to bundle up against dangerous, bone-chilling weather.
Heavy snow, combined with strong northeast winds, brought white-out conditions across Nova Scotia Friday. Blizzard warnings were issued for much of the region, including the City of Halifax, where up to 30 cm of snow could fall by Saturday afternoon. Those warnings have since been dropped but snow continues to accumulate, although the weather is slowly improving in the Maritimes.
The storm prompted numerous flight cancellations, public transit service interruptions and government office and university closures.
Police also urged the public to stay off the roads as plow operators undertook the frustrating task of clearing snow.
"Police are warning drivers to only be out on the roads if necessary," says The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman who was out in the thick of the storm in Halifax for much of the day. "The plows are out doing their best, but there’s only so much you can do when the gusts move up and blow that snow that’s just been freshly plowed right back onto the road so a lot of people swerving. Slippery conditions out there. If you do have a fireplace, it's a good time to stay inside and warm up."
Environment Canada said there were reports of local flooding along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast to Liverpool, Nova Scotia because of higher than normal water levels.
Lesser amounts of snow are expected in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, but strong winds will still give significantly reduced visibilities in blowing snow.
According to New Brunswick Power, all power has been restored following a nasty ice storm that left about 50,000 customers in the dark two weeks ago. For the first time in days, all New Brunswickers woke up to power and heat Friday morning, NB Power says.
Blizzard warnings also covered parts of Newfoundland with upwards of 40 cm of snow possible through Saturday.
Winds gusting to 80 km/h will give near zero visibilities in snow and blowing snow Friday night. Drivers are being advised to adjust travel plans accordingly.
Extreme windchill for parts of Newfoundland and Labrador will remain in place as well, making it feel like close to -40 in some communities.
Winter storms have been relentless across Atlantic Canada so far this season. Wondering how the rest of the year will play out? Check the 2014 Winter Outlook here.
With files from The Canadian Press