Southern New Brunswick is bracing for a messy next 24 hours as some parts of the province are expecting 40 centimetres of snow, while others are anticipating heavy rain fall and strong winds.

The Department of Public Safety's Emergency Measures Organization has issued a severe weather advisory, warning New Brunswickers to stay off the roads if they can and to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Environment Canada is warning communities around Fredericton, Woodstock and Sussex could see 25 cm to 40 cm of snow between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

While snow shovels will be needed in those central and western communities, people in coastal areas, including St. Stephen, Grand Manan and Saint John, will likely need to pack an umbrella.

si-nb-snowplow-220

Communities around Fredericton, Woodstock and Sussex may see 40 centimetres of snow fall by Wednesday afternoon. (CBC)

Environment Canada is forecasting 25 to 50 millimetres of rain on Wednesday afternoon.

There is also the potential for wind gusts of up to 50 kilometres per hour.

"These conditions bring the risk of power outages and hazardous driving conditions," EMO states in a release.

"Residents should restrict any unnecessary travel. As well, they should secure outdoor belongings and Christmas decorations."

The EMO also recommends having an emergency kit on hand for at least 72 hours following a storm.  A basic kit should include food, water, batteries and radio, first aid supplies and any special items, such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities.

"Significant amounts of snow are expected with this system over southwestern regions of New Brunswick," according to an Environment Canada statement.

"Over extreme southwestern regions precipitation will fall mainly as rain. Precipitation will become lighter Wednesday afternoon as the trough moves away south of Nova Scotia. Precipitation amounts will diminish rapidly over eastern portions of the province with only scattered flurries expected over the eastern half of the province."

Peter Coade, a CBC meteorologist, said on Tuesday morning he expects snow will move into western New Brunswick while rain will move in along the Bay of Fundy.

"So there's going to be a fine line there as to this precipitation. Looks like maybe a shower or a flurry for Moncton and Albert County" Coade said.

"To the west though Sussex is in that area where we could see 25 cm of snow. Further to the west in Saint John — 50 millimetres of rain — this is why it's such a fine line that we're having to draw."

Coade said all of the precipitation will move out of New Brunswick on Wednesday night.