Nova Scotia·Weather

After a brief respite, March will start with lion's roar

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says two systems will track through the region this weekend and early next week, followed by another big chill.

Back-to-back systems to track through the region, followed by another blast of frigid air

More Arctic air looks set for the Maritimes next week. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

So is March coming in like a lion or a lamb?

Well, the first two days of March actually look quite pleasant, with milder temperatures and even some sunshine on the menu.

However, we should beware of the March lion lurking behind the corner. Back-to-back wintry systems tracking through the region, followed by another blast of Arctic air, will have the first week of March feeling more like lion than lamb.

Here's what's ahead.

Weekend snow

Most of us may actually dodge the first system, which looks set to track south of the Nova Scotia through Saturday night and into Sunday.

How far south remains the million-dollar question. A shift in the track of just 100 kilometres means a difference between a light dusting of snow and a 15-centimetre shot for Halifax and southern areas of Nova Scotia.

The exact track of the weekend system will be key to the forecast. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

At this point, I'm currently leaning towards a light dusting for most, with the potential for 5-10 centimetres or so over southern areas of Nova Scotia, including Halifax.

However, this will be a close call that could go right down to the wire, so stay tuned to the forecast. New Brunswick can breathe easy with this one.

Wintry mix to kick off the week

The next system to watch will move in and across the Maritimes on Sunday night and through Monday.

Again, the track of the system will be key. A track south of Nova Scotia, would bring snow, and lots of it, for most of the region, including Halifax. 

However, just like most of our storms this winter, it seems the most likely scenario right now is that the system tracks up into the Bay of Fundy or across Nova Scotia.

Forecast models are projecting another messy mix to kick off next week. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

This more likely track would bring another messy mix of snow, ice and rain for Nova Scotia and possibly areas of New Brunswick and P.E.I. The heaviest snow with this track would be over New Brunswick. Strong winds look likely right across the region. Again, stay tuned for updates as the forecast becomes more clear over the next few days. 

Another Arctic chill 

Following our early week storm, the cold floodgates will open yet again and another blast of Arctic looks set to spill into the region.

North American ensemble forecasting system projection for temperature anomalies for March 8-15. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Cold temperatures and more wicked wind chills look set for mid to late next week. In fact, at this point all signs point to the colder than normal temperatures continuing across the region right through the second week of March as well.

March out like a lamb?

All that said, I'll leave you on a positive note. There are signs that a pattern change could be coming for mid-March, with a cold air retreat and at the very least a more 'zonal flow' for the later half of the month. This kind of a setup would allow temperatures to return to at least near average, which would be just above freezing for this time of year.

The countdown to spring continues. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

At the very least, we are gaining a ton of daylight right now and with daylight savings just over a week a way, things are about to get even brighter in the evenings. Spring officially kicks off in three weeks and, if those long range projections are correct, Mother Nature may just co-operate and bring us some milder temperatures.

In the meantime, however, we have some snow and cold to deal with. I'll have a complete update and forecast this evening on CBC TV at 6 p.m. and be sure to stay tuned to the live blog below for the latest.

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Ryan Snoddon


Ryan Snoddon is CBC's meteorologist in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


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