Tens of thousands of Maritimers woke up to a winter wonderland, courtesy of a fast moving nor’easter that brought plenty of snow and lots of wind, just weeks before the first official day of spring.

The snow moved into Yarmouth late Friday night, and hit Halifax around 3:00 a.m.

“We've been crazy, lots of snow happening, it's hard when you're expecting it to stop earlier and it keeps on snowing and blowing, but do what you can,” says Lauren Towill, snow plow contractor.

Police across Nova Scotia advised motorists to stay off the roads, as whiteout conditions made for treacherous driving.

“Visibility may be an issue, so watch out for other vehicles as well as pedestrians and make sure you make eye contact with pedestrians if they're crossing the street for everyone's safety,” says S/Sgt. Barb Saunders, with Halifax Police.

Several flights have been cancelled or delayed at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and passengers are being advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Transit Cape Breton pulled its buses off the roads at 11 a.m. and several Halifax Transit buses are operating on snow plans.

Both the Englishtown and Tancook ferries have suspended service until further notice due to wintry weather conditions.

In Halifax, the overnight winter parking ban will be enforced from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to allow for snow removal. Motorists are advised to find off-street parking during that time.

A winter parking ban is also in effect in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Motorists are asked not to park on the street during the storm and within two hours from the time the snow stops. They are also being asked not to park on the street overnight.

CTV meteorologist Cindy Day says Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia will be hardest hit by the storm.

“The heaviest snow … will be just east of Halifax, Antigonish, Pictou, Guysborough County and all of Cape Breton,” says Day.

She says parts of Cape Breton could see up to 30 centimetres of snow and northeast winds gusting as high as 80 kilometres per hour.

“Combining the dry snow with those strong winds and visibility will be near zero … it will be blizzard-like,” says Day.

She says the Halifax area will likely see between 8 and 12 centimetres of snow while Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough counties could see up to 20 centimetres.

Despite the dumping of snow, some residents decided to make the most of the day.

“It’s nice light snow, good day to be outside, fresh air, exercise,” says one resident.

“Gymnastics is cancelled and dance is cancelled, so I think it's time to play in the snow,” says another.

The storm is expected to ease Saturday afternoon with skies clearing in the evening.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Caitlin Andrea