A winter storm is pummelling Atlantic Canada today with strong winds, snow and freezing rain, as central and eastern Canada get a white and wintry Valentine's Day stretching from eastern Ontario to Newfoundland.

In Quebec, the Trans-Canada Highway was closed by blowing snow east of Quebec City.

"The reach of this storm system is huge, with … snow heavy enough in eastern Ontario that a snowfall warning is out for up to 20 cm of a snow in Cornwall with 15 cm possible east through Montreal," CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said early Friday. 

Rimouski whiteout

Visibility was close to zero around Rimouski, Que., early Friday morning, making driving conditions extremely hazardous. A winter storm warning was in effect, with wind gusting to 100 km/h. (CBC)

"Winter storm warnings are in effect for heavy snow and blowing snow from Quebec's Eastern Townships up the valley to New Brunswick, Inverness County in Cape Breton, along Quebec's north shore to eastern Labrador and across most of Newfoundland (excluding the Avalon and Bonavista South)."

Montreal got about six cm of snow overnight, with a total of 15 cm expected before snow and wind was expected to abate around midday.

The hardest-hit part of the province was east of Quebec City, where roads were closed and visibility was near zero in the Rimouski area. As much as 60 cm of snow was expected on the Gaspé Peninsula.

A 200-kilometre section of the Trans-Canada Highway between Lévis and Rivière-du-Loup was shut down. East of Rivière-du-Loup, Highway 132 around the Gaspé coast was also closed as far as Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis. Several highways south and east of Quebec City were also shut down.

Overnight, Gagetown, N.B., was covered by 28 centimetres of snow. New Brunswick's capital, Fredericton, accumulated much less, only five centimetres, before it was hit by rain.

Halifax, N.S., had a mix of snow and rain overnight and winds peaked at 86 km/h.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Environment Canada said a stormy system will bring a mix of snow, rain and wind.

Warming west

Another winter storm is expected to hit Atlantic Canada Saturday night, lasting into Sunday.


Environment Canada said a system will bring a mix of snow, rain and wind to Newfoundland. There were storm warnings in effect for heavy snow and blowing snow in eastern Labrador and across most of Newfoundland (excluding the Avalon and Bonavista South). (CBC)

To the west, Winnipeg was expected to continue cold today with a high of –18 C, warming slightly through the weekend and into next week, reaching a high of –2 C by Wednesday. There will be flurries and light snowfall today and Saturday.

In Calgary, Environment Canada was calling for increasing cloudiness early this morning and wind becoming west 20 km/h this afternoon. The high is forecast to be 2 C.

For Vancouver, the forecast called for rain continuing through the weekend and high temperatures in the 8 C range.