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Winter has yet to give up its grip on Atlantic Canada, no matter what the calendar says, as the region looks to add more - potentially a lot more - to its March snowfall totals. Details here
Canadian Weather | Atlantic Canada

Multiple systems take aim at Atlantic Canada. Here's when

Digital writers

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 8:28 AM - Winter has yet to give up its grip on Atlantic Canada, no matter what the calendar says, as the region looks to add more - potentially a lot more - to its March snowfall totals.

While residents of the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador are no strangers to March and April snow, repeated storms moving up the east coast are combining to make this March one of the snowiest in the past few years.

This week, forecasters are keeping an eye on two systems, which are on track to have Atlantic Canadians spending part of the last week of March again reaching for their shovels.

Quick Facts

  • Snow began over southern Nova Scotia and western New Brunswick Monday evening, spreading across the Maritimes by Tuesday morning.
  • Accumulations of 10 to 15 cm for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • Tuesday night will see a second wave of freezing rain in southern Nova Scotia. Freezing rain warnings in effect for region.
  • Initial model guidance shows significant low developing off coast of Nova Scotia late Wednesday.
  • While second system would mainly skim Maritimes, could be set to bring serious snowfall to Newfoundland by late week.
  • Model guidance suggests up to half a metre of snow over parts of eastern Newfoundland is possible.

"Halifax airport received 14 cm overnight [Monday] and 8 cm in Moncton," said The Weather Network meteorologist Kevin MacKay. "It has now turned to freezing rain and will continue to ease."

Conditions will be calm yet cloudy in Nova Scotia Tuesday afternoon ahead of round two Tuesday night.

"[A]nother risk for freezing rain from Halifax to Yarmouth before turning to snow," MacKay adds. "North of Halifax, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton will remain as snow."

Through Wednesday, Halifax can expect 5 cm, Cape Breton 10 cm, P.E.I. 5 to 10 cm, and northern and eastern New Brunswick 10 to 15 cm -- particularly for Truro to New Glasgow.

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"Models are still wanting to bring an impactful snowstorm for the Avalon Thursday night through Saturday with the potential for 20 to 30 cm and winds gusting 100 km/h throughout the day on Friday," MacKay says. He adds that timing and track of the storm is highly dependent on Arctic high pressure in northern Quebec and a blocking high near Europe, and how the pair act as they try to "pinch" off the developing low.

At present, major long range computer models handle the development of this system fairly similarly, which gives forecasters good reason to keep an eye on it through subsequent model runs and actual observations as they come in.

Part of the problem with this potential system is the complexity of the overall pattern. There are a lot of pieces of energy set to interact over the eastern part of the continent, making for a lower-than-average degree of confidence in how well models can handle the pattern; lots of moving parts need to come together before we see how things play out.

So while you could say 'general suspicion' about the system remains high, confidence in the details remains low.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for all of Newfoundland ahead of the system forecast to develop off the east coast of the United States late Tuesday. It's expected to impact Newfoundland on Wednesday.

"As it approaches it will interact with a second, more intense low, approaching from the south and the pair will deepen into a major winter storm southeast of Newfoundland on Thursday," says the weather agency. "Current long-range forecast guidance indicates that it will remain nearly stationary southeast of the Avalon Peninsula for a couple of days, them move out to sea on Saturday."

Parts of southeastern Newfoundland could also see transitions between snow, freezing rain and rain during the event, adds Environment Canada.

Stay tuned to The Weather Network as we continue to follow this system as it develops.

Watch Below: One furry little snow lover enjoying the winter weather

With files from Caroline Floyd.

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