Nova Scotia

Frigid temperatures set in as Nova Scotia cleans up after 'weather bomb'

As Nova Scotia recovers from the 'weather bomb' that hit the province Thursday and Friday, there's a new concern: the frigid temperatures.

Temperatures could plunge as low as –16 C but feel closer to –30 C on Saturday

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said there will be a definite "bite" to the cold that will make it feel closer to –28 C this weekend. (Elizabeth McMillan/CBC)

As Nova Scotia recovers from the "weather bomb" that hit the province Thursday and Friday, there's a new concern: the frigid temperatures.

With winds still gusting between 40 km/h and 70 km/h, CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said temperatures will fall to between –10 C and –16 C on Saturday, but it could feel more like –28 C.

Environment Canada has issued snow squall warnings for Annapolis County, Hants County, Kings County and Inverness County. There's also a special weather statement in effect for areas of Colchester and Cumberland counties, where it could feel as cold as –34 C.

Nova Scotia Power set up warming centres again Saturday for people without power. As of 2:30 p.m. AT, there were just under 3,000 people still without electricity, according to the utility's outage map.

The company said it expects most people to be connected by the end of the day. 

There is an increased risk of frostbite with wind chill values -28 or colder. (Kalin Mitchell/CBC)

Cold but beautiful

The cold temperatures didn't stop people from enjoying the impressive waves near Eastern Passage, N.S, on Saturday.

"It's like hurricane winds and cold, but pretty beautiful really," said Theresa Bezanson-Byatt. "Not so beautiful to have lost power, but that's OK."

She said her home in Porters Lake lost power for almost 24 hours.

Theresa Bezanson-Byatt lost power for about 24 hours, but says she was one of the lucky ones. (Steve Berry/CBC)

"It's really not a hardship. We have a wood stove, a warm house. There are a lot of other people not nearly as fortunate," she said. 

Mike Moore, who is visiting the area from Vancouver said even though the storm messed up his flights, it didn't ruin his trip. 

"The weather makes you feel young, and the storms don't last long. If New York can put up with it, we can too," he said. 

'Just this incredible roar'

The storm's intense winds caused damage across the province, including in Dartmouth, where a large piece of roof ripped off a home on Pleasant Street and slammed into Bill Skerry's car, leaving a large dent.

"We were just standing [inside], watching the wind and all of a sudden, there was a roof flying across the road," said Skerry, who works at an auto repair shop in the area.

Winds on Saturday will continue to produce snow squalls off the open ocean waters with freezing temperatures moving in over the weekend. (CBC)

Inverness County saw the most powerful gusts in the province on Thursday, ​where winds reached their peak speed in Grand Etang at 170 km/h.

Carmella Murphy, who lives in Grand Etang, said the winds on Thursday were "petrifying" and sounded like a freight train.

Carmella Murphy, who lives in Grand Etang, N.S., said the extreme winds sounded like a freight train in her home. (CBC)

"Just this incredible roar. No matter where you are in the house, there's no escaping it," Murphy said.

"I can't see myself spending another winter here. I'll go where it's more sheltered. I love Cape Breton, I don't want to live anywhere else, but I just can't live on top of this hill anymore."

Warming centres

Mitchell expects Saturday will see clouds and flurries across the province, with winds continuing to produce snow squalls off the open ocean waters. He said the snow squalls will be capable of producing very local snowfall amounts of five to 15 centimetres every 12 hours or so.

Areas in Nova Scotia with a greater risk of snow squalls Friday night through Sunday morning. (Kalin Mitchell/CBC)

Mitchell said low temperatures Saturday night will fall into a range of –16 C to –20 C with wind chill still a factor, making it feel closer to –30 C.

Nova Scotia Power centres are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in areas across the province: 

  • Kentville (3 Calkin Dr.)
  • Chester (96 Valley Rd.)
  • Stellarton (26 Bridge Ave.)
  • Shelburne (261 Ohio Rd.)
  • Halifax (1223 Lower Water St.)

In Halifax, the number of people showing up seemed to be slowing down, and no one was at the downtown location when CBC News visited Saturday morning. 

Still, Tiffany Chase, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power, said dozens of cold customers have relied on the centres in recent days. 

"We're certainly cognizant of how uncomfortable it can be to have a power outage, particularly in the winter months, so it's an opportunity for us to provide a place where our customers can go while our crews are out there safely restoring power," she said. 

Winds to ease 

Halifax Regional Municipality said Saturday afternoon that Shore Road in Eastern Passage, which was strewn with debris during the storm, had reopened. Transit was also running smoothly, and comfort centres in the municipality had shut down.

Mitchell said Sunday is expected to bring a mix of sun and cloud for the province and winds will slow to between 20 km/h and 40 km/h.

A car makes its way along Shore Road in Eastern Passage during the storm. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

With the easing of the winds, snow squalls will begin to taper off on Sunday, but scattered flurries are still likely across the province throughout the day.

The easing winds will improve comfort levels as far as the wind chill goes, but it will still be very cold, with afternoon temperatures steady between –10 C and –14 C.

With files from Kalin Mitchell and Elizabeth McMillan