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Second phase of storm brings heavier snowfall and even stronger winds to Atlantic Canada. Several school closures have been reported as well as flight delays and cancellations. Over 30 cm of snow could fall in the hardest hit places through Thursday.

Nor'easter brings dangerous blizzard conditions to Atlantic Canada, schools closed and flights cancelled

Digital writers

Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 7:59 PM -

"classic" Nor'easter is pushing through much of Atlantic Canada, bringing dangerous weather conditions to the region.

Heavy snow and powerful winds resulted in numerous school closures and travel delays on Wednesday.

"Roads are slick. Many schools closed across Nova Scotia including all schools in the [Halifax Regional School Board]. Also St. Mary's University shut down for the day," The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman tweeted from Halifax early Wednesday.

A number of flight delays and cancellations are also being reported at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The first wave of moisture brought between 3-5 cm of snow to western Nova Scotia and the Halifax area through the overnight hours on Tuesday.

"An intensifying low pressure system developing south of the Maritimes will track northeastward, passing east of Nova Scotia tonight before reaching Newfoundland Thursday morning," said Environment Canada in a statement early Wednesday. "This disturbance will bring significant snowfall amounts of 20 to 40 cm, strong winds and blowing snow to Nova Scotia."

Blizzard warnings also cover parts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island with gusty winds, near zero visibilities and widespread blowing snow expected.

Schools closed in Prince Edward Island and there were flight cancellations at the Charlottetown airport.

"The blizzard criteria are at least four hours of blowing snow, a reduced visibility of 400 meters or less and also sustained winds of 40 km or greater," says Weather Network meteorologist Matt Grinter. "We will be seeing all these factors."

It will be a similar story for much of Newfoundland as significant snowfall and strong winds caused blizzard conditions through the day on Wednesday.These conditions will continue into Thursday morning.

Blizzard, winter storm, rainfall and wind warnings cover much of the province.

For areas under a rainfall warning, accumulations of 25-40 mm are forecast by Thursday morning.

"For areas under a blizzard warning, snow at times heavy, is expected to develop this morning and spread northward from the southwest coast to the northern peninsula by late afternoon," says EC. "Total snowfall accumulations of 15 to 30 cm are forecast by Thursday morning."

Strong northeasterly winds are also expected to develop with wind gusts up to 100 km/h expected in some places.

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Motorists across Atlantic Canada are urged to adjust travel plans accordingly as dangerous conditions could greatly impact the commute.

Marine Atlantic cancelled its crossings from Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and from North Sydney, Nova Scotia due to high winds and rough sea conditions.

Canada Post is also advising residents that the blizzard conditions may impede mail delivery.

Officials say every attempt will be made to get all the mail out for delivery but, due to the severe weather, some addresses may not receive mail.

Once the weather improves normal delivery will resume.

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