Snow on Nova Scotia highways is making for a slippery night, but that's nothing compared to what is expected to hit the Maritimes this weekend.

The first major blast of winter is headed toward the region and could dump 20 to 30 centimetres of snow in some areas on Sunday.

“[It’s] a bit early to put numbers on amounts, but it is a fairly safe bet that later on Sunday will not be suitable for travelling and that we will be shovelling,” said CBC meteorologist Peter Coade.

The storm will develop in the southeastern U.S. overnight Friday, intensifying as it tracks northeast, he said. The system will then likely develop into a nor’easter with the centre reaching the Maritimes on Sunday.

Based on current weather patterns, Coade said he expects the leading edge of Sunday’s storm to hit Nova Scotia’s southwest shore and St. Stephen, N.B., around 7 a.m.

SUV in ditch

A 70-year-old woman was trapped in her SUV after it flipped off Highway 101 near Waterville, N.S., on Friday. (Angela MacIvor/CBC)

The storm is expected to continue its track northeast, hitting Halifax, Nova Scotia’s north shore, and Fredericton by 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Coade said the storm is expected to continue to move toward Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and Miramichi, N.B., by 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The rest of Cape Breton Island and Bathurst, N.B., should feel the effects of the storm by 1 p.m.

Whiteout conditions in Nova Scotia

Coade said there’s still a possibility the snow could change to rain along the south shore of Nova Scotia and as far east as Halifax.  

He also warns of blowing snow across the Maritimes with northeast winds between 60 km/h and 80 km/h.

On Monday, as the storm moves out, a trough will form in its wake over New Brunswick, dragging another area of snow across that province and P.E.I., Coade said.

An early taste of the storm caused whiteout conditions in some parts of Nova Scotia on Friday.

An SUV slid off Highway 101 into a ditch near Waterville in Kings County. A woman in her 70s was driving, but she wasn't hurt

Police closed the highway near exit 14 while the vehicle was towed out.