A winter storm passing over Atlantic Canada had RCMP warning motorists to stay off the roads Friday.

In the Maritimes, Nova Scotia is taking the brunt of the storm. But on P.E.I. blowing snow is causing whiteouts, leading to dangerous driving conditions. Police are warning motorists to stay off the roads unless they urgently need to go out, and even then to use care and slow down.

Schools and government offices were closed, as were many private businesses.

Heavy snowfall is expected to continue through the afternoon, changing over to flurries in the evening. High winds gusting to 60 km/h will continue, however, and blowing snow could continue to be an issue through the night.