Maritimers brace for another winter storm
Published Thursday, January 2, 2014 2:04PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:14PM AST
Maritimers are bracing for another winter storm as a cold snap chills Atlantic Canada.
The storm, known as Hercules south of the border, is currently making its way across the United States.
Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area and the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Long Island -- where 20 to 25 cm snow could fall and winds could gust up to 45 mph -- from Thursday evening into Friday afternoon.
CTV meteorologist Cindy Day says the first snowflakes are expected to fall over southwest Nova Scotia late Thursday afternoon. The storm will then push eastward and intensify overnight.
Day says the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia will bear the brunt of the storm, although New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will also see snowfall amounts up to 15 cm.
“The area of snow will reach back to southern New Brunswick and P.E.I., but as you move away from the storm, the snowfall amounts will be less impressive,” says Day.
She expects snowfall amounts will range from 10 to 15 cm south of Fredericton.
The storm will also bring strong winds and blowing snow, resulting in poor visibility in some areas.
The storm comes as Maritimers are coping with bitter-cold temperatures.
In New Brunswick, wind chill warnings remain in effect and blowing snow warnings are expected in the St. Stephen, Saint John and Moncton areas.
In Nova Scotia, blizzard warnings are in place for much of the province. Snowfall amounts will vary from 25 cm inland to as much as 35 cm along the coast.
Blowing snow warnings are in effect for northern mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, where 15 to 20 cm of snow is expected to fall.
Prince Edward Island will see flurries beginning around midnight. Between 10 and 15 cm of snow is expected, along with strong winds and blowing snow.
In Halifax, a winter parking ban will be in effect from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. to allow for snow removal.
Road crews spent Wednesday loading up with crushed gravel, as it’s too cold for salt to work.
“It will probably be a drawn-out thing, last for a good 24 hours,” says Darrin Natalino of HRM Winter Works.
“It’s cold, which is a good thing as the snow will be fluffier and easier to push when it is cold.”
The Halifax Regional Municipality faced criticism over how it handled snow clearing on roads and sidewalks during the last major storm and Natalino says fines have been issued to some contractors.
He says the cleanup for the latest storm will likely stretch into Sunday as the storm is expected to last 24 hours.
RCMP in Nova Scotia are warning motorists to stay off the roads if possible, and to use extreme caution when weather conditions are poor.
“We certainly don’t want people out on the roads because the blizzard conditions don’t allow people to see very far, and when you don’t see very well, you either go off the roads or you hit something else,” says Halifax RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae.
Air travellers are encouraged to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
About 1,000 U.S. flights were cancelled for Thursday, with Chicago’s O'Hare and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International most affected.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Alyse Hand and The Associated Press