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Parts of the Maritimes to see up to 100 mm of rain, 90 km/h wind gusts into Thursday

A pedestrians shield themselves from rain and wind in Halifax on Thursday, January 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese A pedestrians shield themselves from rain and wind in Halifax on Thursday, January 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
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Outlook

Caught between a storm centred over Quebec and high pressure to our east, the Maritimes is in store for more rain and stronger winds Wednesday evening into Thursday. A heavy winter rain brings a risk of localized flooding for some areas. A strong southerly wind is also expected to reach the warning criteria of gusts to 90 km/h for a large portion of the region. The system clears as a mix of rain and snow on Thursday with a sharp fall in temperatures back below freezing behind it.

Multiple rounds of rain and showers are on the way up the eastern seaboard for the Maritimes Wednesday into Thursday.

New Brunswick

Already into rounds of rain and showers, some of the heaviest rain is set to arrive for southern areas of New Brunswick between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday. The highest risk of downpours will be centred near the Bay of Fundy coastline where the rain could total 60-to-120 mm. The province will see the rain flip back over to a brief period of snow early Thursday morning with that snow clearing before and by 7 a.m. The snow may be as much as one-to-five centimetres locally. Temperatures will fall quickly back below freezing for New Brunswick on Thursday and wet or slushy surfaces could become icy.

Rainfall warnings have been issued for much of New Brunswick, excluding the northern most counties of the province. Environment Canada is noting that snowmelt and a frozen ground could elevate the risk of localized flooding. The warnings broadly calls for 25-to-50 mm of rain, but 60-to-100 mm in southern areas of the province.

A wind warning is also in effect for the southern half of the province. A southerly wind is forecast to increase to reach gusts of 70-to-80 km/h, except up to 100 km/h over exposed areas Wednesday evening and night, then becoming northwest with gusts falling into a range of 40-to-70 km/h Thursday morning.

The heaviest rain is most likely in the southernmost areas of New Brunswick and the southwest of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia

Much like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia will get into a more persistent and heavy rain Wednesday night. That arrives in southwestern areas of the province Wednesday evening and moving eastward overnight. The most total rain is expected in Digby, Yarmouth, and Shelburne Counties with 50-to-80 mm possible. The rain turns to a brief period of snow Thursday morning with the mix clearing mainland Nova Scotia by 10 a.m. Thursday and Cape Breton by 2 p.m. Thursday. Up to a few centimetres of snow is possible. Temperatures will fall back to and below freezing through Thursday afternoon. Watch for any untreated, wet surfaces that may become icy.

A rainfall warning is posted for mainland Nova Scotia. The warning cautions of 25-to-50 mm of rain, with higher local amounts near 65 mm possible. There is a risk of “localized flooding in low-lying areas” and the warning says heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Cape Breton is not under the rainfall warning, with totals of 10-to-20 mm expected there.

The entire province is under a wind warning. The warning is valid Wednesday evening into Thursday morning for mainland Nova Scotia and Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon for Cape Breton. Southerly wind gusts up to 100 km/h are expected at times. Additional gusts up to 130 km/h are possible from Margaree Harbour to Bay St. Lawrence in Inverness, Cape Breton, Thursday morning and early Thursday afternoon.

The strongest of the southerly wind gusts arrives in southwestern New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia Wednesday evening.

Prince Edward Island and Magdalen Islands

Showers Wednesday afternoon will turn to rain for P.E.I. Wednesday night. The rain will turn to snow from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Thursday before clearing. As much as one-to-five centimetres of snow is expected to fall. Temperatures for P.E.I. will fall back to and below freezing by 2 p.m. Thursday. Icy spots could develop on untreated surfaces.

Prince County is under a rainfall warning. Up to 25 mm of rain is expected there. The rest of P.E.I. is generally expected to receive 10-to-20 mm of rain.

The province is under a wind warning. Southerly gusts are expected to reach near 90 km/h Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The wind will become northwest with gusts of 40-to-70 km/h for Thursday afternoon. The Magdalen Islands are also under a wind warning. The area is at risk of southerly gusts near 110 km/h overnight Wednesday and Thursday.

The strong wind gusts shift eastward Wednesday overnight. The Maritimes will see a northwest wind with gusts of 40-to-70 km/h by Thursday afternoon.

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