Roads deteriorate across Atlantic Canada as heavy snow, rain and plunging temperatures hit the region
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 12:49 PM -
STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for the latest coverage of this storm.
Atlantic Canadians are dealing with another powerful winter storm that's blasting the region with more heavy snow, rain, freezing rain and damaging winds.
The stormy conditions have closed a number of schools in the region and left hundreds of customers without power.
Several flights at the international airports in Moncton, N.B., and Halifax, N.S. have also been impacted.
"The storm moving through is bringing heavy snow to New Brunswick and freezing rain to the Fundy Shores," says Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Heavy rain continues in Nova Scotia."
Flash freeze warnings have also been issued in Nova Scotia as temperatures are expected to rapidly plunge throughout the day.
"As this system passes on today, a cold northerly flow will cause temperatures to drop rapidly from above to well below zero," warns Environment Canada in the statement. "Water covered surfaces such as roadways and sidewalks may quickly become ice covered."
Blowing snow is expected to continue throughout the day across the Maritimes, with blizzard warnings in effect for parts of New Brunswick.
Over 20 cm of snow has already fallen in some places, with an additional 10-15 cm possible throughout the day.
DANGEROUS ROADS IN ONTARIO: Fresh snow, plunging temperatures result in an icy and dangerous commute in Ontario Thursday
"Over northeastern regions of the province, the combination of snow, strong winds giving blowing snow, and cold temperatures results in blizzard conditions," EC adds.
Over southern regions, the heavy snow changed to ice pellets and freezing rain early Thursday and the precipitation is expected to change back to flurries through the afternoon hours.
Winter storm and flash freeze warnings cover parts of P.E.I. as well with temperatures expected to rapidly drop.
"Snow, blowing snow, ice pellets and freezing rain are occurring," EC said early Thursday.
"The system has continued to move into Newfoundland and will bring a messy mix there as well," Vaswani says. "Heavy rain is expected in the south and in the Avalon, with snow and freezing rain to the north."
High rainfall amounts across the province are raising concern over possible localized flooding.
RCMP in Port aux Basques, along the island's west coast, are asking drivers to avoid heading out in the storm because of deteriorating road conditions.
According to Vaswani, conditions will improve through the day Friday, but colder temperatures are forecast.
HOW COMMON IS SNOW IN MARCH?
Make no mistake: This winter has been particularly harsh, but by this time of year many Canadians are used to seeing the winter weather gradually fade away. Cities in Atlantic Canada -- like Halifax N.S., Fredericton N.B. and St John's, Nfld., -- typically see 37.1 cm, 49.4 cm and 57.3 cm of March snow, respectively. It looks like the majority of that will accumulate this week, courtesy of this current storm.