Sunday, 15 February 2015

Powerful winter storm slams Atlantic Canada

A visible satellite image of the intense Nor'easter just south of Nova Scotia on Sunday afternoon. (NOAA image)
Another major winter storm has bypassed southern Quebec with just 1-3cm of light snow on Saturday. Winds were gusty with some blowing snow, but not the whiteouts that has been feared. On Saturday, low pressure moved across New York State and off the coast near New Jersey. It then bombed out, dropping more than 24 millibars of pressure in 24 hours and becoming an intense winter storm. With a look from space that resembled a hurricane, the powerful storm swept along the New England coast and into eastern Nova Scotia.

Heavy snow with strong winds in excess of 100km/h brought travel to a standstill, even keeping the snowplows off the roads in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Nearly 50cm of snow fell in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, with 43cm at Moncton. In Halifax, the heavy snow was followed by a brief warm up and over 20mm of rain. The rain and melting snow flooded streets which rapidly froze when the temperature fell from plus 2C (36F) to -6C (21F) in one hour this afternoon. Strong winds in excess of 70km/h also hit Halifax. Charlottetown, PEI has received over 60cm of snow with 95km/h winds and visibility under 1km for over 24 hours. The Gaspe coast of Quebec was also hit with blizzard conditions, and up to 40cm of snow. Widespread travel disruptions and power failures stretch across Atlantic Canada and into eastern New England. Boston has now had its third snowiest winter on record reaching 89.2 inches of snow on Sunday as another 10 inches fell by late in the day. More snow is forecast by Wednesday as another storm moves up the eastern seaboard.

Flooding and a rapid freeze made for a difficult day on the roads in Halifax. (The Halifax Chronicle)
Cold air has been drawn into southern Quebec and Ontario on the backside of the storm. Overnight lows of -23C to -27C are expected by Monday morning with winds of up to 50km/h into Monday. Windchill values will be in the minus 30's for metro Montreal. At least it will be sunny.

Outside Moncton, NB this morning. (Global via Twitter)

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