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Snow piles up in Cape Breton; weekend weather rainy and windy

A woman walks near Citadel Hill in Halifax in this file photo. Environment Canada has issued weather alerts warning of potentially icy roads, slippery sidewalks, heavy rain and strong winds across much of the region. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan) A woman walks near Citadel Hill in Halifax in this file photo. Environment Canada has issued weather alerts warning of potentially icy roads, slippery sidewalks, heavy rain and strong winds across much of the region. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
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March weather was out like a lion for Cape Breton. The Island was thumped by another heavy, spring snowfall Thursday into Friday. Friday morning reports from a network of volunteer observers came in with amounts of 10 to 20 cm, with snow still falling and accumulating. By noon on Friday, I had unofficial reports from several communities in Cape Breton that new snow totalled 20 to 30 cm.

The cold front brought in snow amounts ranging from a trace up to several centimetres for other areas of the Maritimes on Thursday. Some locally higher amounts of near 10 cm reported on parts of the North Shore of mainland Nova Scotia. The snow came in the form of squalls which reduced visibility for periods of time leading to tricky driving conditions.

Snowfall for much of the Maritimes ranged from trace amounts up to several centimetres. Snow continued into Friday for Cape Breton with sources on the Island reporting amounts of 10 to 30 cm.

No April fool’s joke, another round of inclement weather is headed into the Maritimes this weekend.

This next weather maker is a strong low pressure system in the mid-western US. The centre of the storm will move into the St. Lawrence River Valley but the associated weather fronts will push into the Maritimes on Saturday. The system is triggering severe thunderstorms with a risk of tornadoes in the United States but for the Maritimes it will be snow turning to rain accompanied by gusty winds.

Snow turning to rain develops across the Maritimes, southwest to northeast, Saturday morning into afternoon.

Snow will start before sunrise on Saturday in the southwest of New Brunswick and the southwest of Nova Scotia. The snow will then turn to rain and spread across the region by early Saturday afternoon. Initial snow before the rain is expected to be limited to up to a few centimetres for most. Parts of northern New Brunswick could pick up a slushy 5 to 10 cm before a switch to rain. Rain totals of 5 to 15 mm expected except 15 to 30 mm for the tri-county region of southwestern Nova Scotia. Precipitation will ease to scattered showers and flurries Saturday night.

The change to rain is expected to be quick enough to limit snow for most of the region. Parts of northern New Brunswick might pick up 5 to 10 cm of slushy snow.

A gusty southerly wind will accompany the snow turning to rain. Gusts on Saturday will peak between 30 and 60 km/h. The wind becomes westerly on Sunday in the wake of the system and is expected to reach gusts of 40 to 70 km/h. The wind is forecast to diminish Sunday night. The west wind will bring in some colder air off the continent and low temperatures Sunday night are expected to be below freezing across the region. Wet surfaces could turn icy as a result.

Forecast updates and regional weather conditions on CTV News Atlantic 5, 6, and 11:30 PM.

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