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Weather warnings issued in Maritimes for strong wind, heavy rain Wednesday into Thursday

Hikers walk along Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park in , Lawrencetown, N.S. as waves and heavy winds battered the coastline on Sunday, January 14, 2024. (Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese) Hikers walk along Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park in , Lawrencetown, N.S. as waves and heavy winds battered the coastline on Sunday, January 14, 2024. (Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)
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A low-pressure system moving through the Great Lakes area will strengthen along the boundary of unseasonably warm air in place in the Midwestern U.S./southern Ontario and frigid air in place across Hudson Bay and northern Quebec. The storm will take a path northward through western Quebec Wednesday into Thursday. The Maritime provinces will be squeezed between that storm and an area of higher pressure to our northeast. That squeeze will drive a strong southerly wind and bring rain, heavy for some areas, to our region late Wednesday into early Thursday.

Squeezed between the strong low in Quebec and high pressure to our east the Maritimes will get into a round of rain and strong wind Wednesday into Thursday. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

Heavy rain

The first of the wet weather arrives as early as late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Patchy showers or drizzle developing in western areas of New Brunswick and southwestern areas of Nova Scotia. A moderate rain moves into western New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia during the day Wednesday. There will be a chance of showers for the remainder of the Maritimes.

Rounds of heavier rain then arrive Wednesday night for central/southern New Brunswick as well as western Nova Scotia. The rain is not expected to fall as heavily for northern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and eastern Nova Scotia. The rain will continue for most areas into early Thursday morning. The rain may switch back to a brief period of snow before clearing the Maritimes west-to-east Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon.

Rainfall amount could generally range 30-to-60 mm in central/southern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia. There will be higher rain amounts of 60-to-100 mm near the Bay of Fundy coastline in New Brunswick. That is a heavy winter rain. When combined with the frozen ground, snow/ice melt, and the chance that some drainage systems may be blocked by winter debris, it increases the risk of localized flooding.

Some of the higher rain totals through Thursday are expected in central/southern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

Strong wind

As above, the squeeze between the strong low and high pressure to our northeast drives a high and gusty southerly wind. Wind gusts reaching 90 km/h will arrive for southern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia by Wednesday evening. The strong winds will then moving to eastern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by early Thursday morning. Due to the topography of the Cape Breton Highlands, there is a risk peak gusts for northern Inverness County could reach 120 km/h Thursday morning.

A southerly wind with peak gusts nearing 90 km/h reaches southern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia Wednesday evening. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

By Thursday afternoon the wind will become northwest with peak gusts in the range of 40-to-70 km/h. While not as strong, the northwest wind will usher colder air back into the region with temperatures falling back to and below freezing across the Maritimes by Thursday afternoon. While not quite matching as quick a plunge as this past weekend, caution should be taken about any untreated wet surfaces turning icy by Thursday evening.

The strong southerly wind shifts to eastern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by very early Thursday morning. The entire Maritimes over to a cold, gusty northwest wind by Thursday afternoon. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

Weather alerts

Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for western New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia, where the rain is expected to reach first and become heavy at times. The warnings call for rain totals of 25-to 60-mm except 60-to-90+ mm in southern New Brunswick. The rain will fall Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.

Wind warnings are now in effect for southern New Brunswick and the Tri-county area of Nova Scotia. The warning calls for a southerly wind gusting 70-to-100 km/h Wednesday evening until Thursday morning.

Special weather statements extend into eastern New Brunswick and across the remainder of mainland Nova Scotia. The statement calls for possible areas of 25-to-60 mm of rain and gusts that could reach 70-to-90 km/h Wednesday night into Thursday. These areas are little later to get into the rain and wind compared to the warned areas to the west. It is possible that they are added to the weather warnings as the system approaches.

I’ll have updates, timelines, and regional weather conditions on CTV News Atlantic programming 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11:30 p.m.

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