Powerful winter storm to hit Maritimes

A "powerful" winter storm is headed to the Maritimes today, with as much as 40 centimetres of snow expected to hammer parts of Nova Scotia.

Meteorologist Andy Firth said the nor'easter would bring snow, blowing snow and rain to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as southern and eastern New Brunswick.

Firth said a "swath of snow" could dump as much as 40 centimetres on northern Nova Scotia and in the Annapolis Valley.

"This is a significant nor'easter storm," said Firth from Dartmouth, N.S., on Saturday. "We have warnings out for snowfall, blowing snow and storm surges."

Firth said parts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. would see around 15 to 30 centimetres of snow.

Flurries were expected to begin over the western Maritimes on Saturday evening, with heavy snow beginning around midnight and continuing until around noon Sunday.

Wind warnings were in effect for northern Nova Scotia, with winds expected to gust to 90 km/h beginning Sunday morning.

Storm surge warnings had also been issued for northern Nova Scotia and along the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, where high water levels and strong winds were expected to produce pounding surf.

Firth said the low pressure system was expected to be south of Nova Scotia early Sunday and would intensify as it tracks eastward up the province's Atlantic coast towards Cape Breton.

From there, the storm was expected to sweep towards Newfoundland and Labrador, with winds gusting to about 140 km/h in western Newfoundland on Sunday afternoon.

Environment Canada said a brief band of heavy snow was forecasted to cross central and western Newfoundland Sunday, with snowfall amounts ranging from 10 to 15 centimetres.

The storm prompted Nova Scotia's Halifax Stanfield International Airport to issue a warning that flights may be delayed.

Eastern Canada had just finished cleaning up after being blasted by another winter storm late last week.

Parts of New Brunswick -- including Fredericton and Gagetown -- had been digging out of about 25 to 40 centimetres of snow.

That system then headed up to Newfoundland on Friday, where about 25 centimetres fell on the northeast coast and central parts of the island.

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