Snow and blowing snow associated with a major winter storm that is roaring through Ontario and Eastern Canada began to hit southwestern New Brunswick Thursday afternoon.

The storm, which began in the U.S. South and has been linked to several deaths, blew into Eastern Canada overnight Wednesday, prompting storm warnings and flight cancellations.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning covering all of New Brunswick.

The storm will will spread north and east by late in the evening with 15 to 30 centimetres of snow expected and a strong east to northeast wind in much of the province.

In southern areas, snow will be mixed with ice pellets and change to rain later in the day and into Thursday night.

Temperatures will hover around the freezing point into Friday, except along the Bay of Fundy, which will see temperatures of 2 to 6 C.

A rainfall warning is in effect for that area, with Grand Manan expecting 40 millimetres. Particularly strong easterly winds will be felt in Grand Manan and coastal Charlotte County where gusts could reach 90 km/h.

Travel delays

Driving conditions have already started to deteriorate due to blowing snow and police are urging drivers to slow down.

"One of the most important things that a driver can do, especially with these blowing snow conditions, is to be seen and to be able to see," said Fredericton Police Sgt. Tim Durling.

"So you've got to keep your windows clear, all your windows clear. And all your lights — your taillights, your headlights, your marker lights."

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is asking that people stay off the roads altogether, giving the plows a chance to do their job.

The snow and the wind has meant many delays and cancellations for travellers.

The ferry that runs from Saint John to Digby, N.S., was cancelled for the day in anticipation of the storm.

Flights to and from Toronto and Montreal have been delayed for most of the day and some were cancelled completely.

Gradual clearing is expected Friday night with a mix of sun and cloud for Saturday.

Meanwhile, parts of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec along the St. Lawrence River are still under winter storm warnings with 15 to 20 centimetres of snow expected.

The storm will move into Newfoundland and Labrador with strong winds beginning Thursday night and peaking on Friday.