A nasty spring weather bomb has its sights set on Atlantic Canada.

An intense low-pressure system has blanketed much of Canada's East Coast with blizzard and wind warnings. There are also storm surge warnings for Nova Scotia's southern coast.

The nor'easter is expected to make its way up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Cancellations have already begun piling up throughout the Maritimes, including ferry cancellations between Digby, N.S., and Saint John, N.B.

Travellers should prepare for cancellations as whiteout conditions are expected through much of the East Coast. High winds are also likely to knock out power and make driving very difficult.

snow

The Maritimes are bracing for a winter wallop on Wednesday. (CBC)

CBC meteorologist Peter Coade said the worst of the storm is expected to start in Halifax around 7 a.m. AT Wednesday as it moves northeast. Southern New Brunswick should expect things to start getting nasty around 10 a.m., with Prince Edward Island being hit around noon before the storm heads toward Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The centre of the storm is expected over Newfoundland by daybreak on Thursday.

In Nova Scotia, Environment Canada is warning that blizzard conditions will reduce visibility on the roads down to near zero on Wednesday as winds gusting up to 110 km/h howl through the province. Parts of Cape Breton are under a Les Suêtes wind warning with gusts up to 160 km/h expected late Wednesday afternoon.

The southwestern part of the province is expected to receive between 40 to 50 centimetres of snow, with 30 to 40 cm expected for the rest of Nova Scotia. The snow may briefly change to rain mixed with snow Wednesday afternoon before changing back to snow in the evening.

Storm surge in N.S.

It's a good idea to stay away from the coast in Nova Scotia as Environment Canada warns high water levels and storm surges may cause localized flooding in Halifax, Guysborough, Lunenburg and Shelburne counties, as well as along the Northumberland Strait.

Environment Canada forecaster Tracey Talbot said the possibility of damage is real because a storm surge will bring rising waters along the coastlines of Nova Scotia — in some cases 50 to 80 centimetres higher than normal, with strong waves driving the sea into shore.

"That is definitely something we have to keep an eye on, especially if it coincides with high tides," Talbot said Tuesday.

"With the storm surge we're expecting, we could see some flooding and some local infrastructure damage."

P.E.I., N.B. under warnings

Prince Edward Island is under a blizzard warning with strong winds gusting up to 100 km/h and as much as 30 to 40 cm of snow expected across much of the Island Wednesday. 

The province's Office of Public Safety is advising Islanders to prepare for the possibility of power disruptions.

"Snow and ice buildup on tree branches, rooftops and utility lines can lead to dangerous conditions with breaking branches, downed utility lines and possibly power outages," the office said in a news release.

In New Brunswick, the southeastern part of the province is blanketed in blizzard warnings with between 15 and 40 cm expected. Blowing snow is expected to make travelling very difficult. Also, higher than normal water levels are forecast from Miramichi Bay south to Cape Tormentine on Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday evening. 

The storm is expected to taper off in the Maritimes Wednesday evening before moving toward Newfoundland and Labrador.

With files from The Canadian Press