Nova Scotia

Halifax, Cape Breton announce school closures with major storm bearing down

Schools in Halifax and Cape Breton have already announced cancellations for Monday with a major winter storm in the region.

'This will be the biggest storm of the season so far,' says CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon

Snow will start to fall in western Nova Scotia late Sunday afternoon and move east this evening. (Dave Irish/CBC)

All Halifax Regional Centre for Education schools will be closed on Monday.

A news release from the HRCE said the decision was based on the weather forecast. 

HRCE offices will be closed until at least noon, according to the release. 

All Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education schools will also be closed Monday, according to a news release. 

Heavy snow and high winds are expected to sweep Nova Scotia Sunday night and continue into Monday morning.

"This will be the biggest storm of the season so far," CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said Sunday afternoon.

Snoddon expects widespread amounts of 20-40 centimetres of snow, with local amounts of 40-50 centimetres.

Northern areas of the province, stretching from the Annapolis Valley to the Northumberland Shore region, and then across Cape Breton, are most likely to receive more than 40 centimetres.

Widespread amounts of 20-40 centimetres are expected across Nova Scotia, with areas of 40-50 centimetres for some. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the entire province.

The weather agency is predicting wind gusts of up to 80 km/h. Wind gusts could reach 90 km/h along parts of the Atlantic coast.

Snow will begin to fall in western Nova Scotia late Sunday afternoon. The remainder of the province will start to see snowfall by Sunday evening.

The snow will begin late Sunday afternoon in the southwest and then spread northeastward across the province this evening. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

"The heaviest snowfall amounts will be overnight when we could see snowfall rates exceeding five centimetres per hour," Snoddon said.

Strong northeasterly winds will also develop this evening and continue into Monday, reducing visibility at times.

The snow is expected to taper off in the western and central regions of the province by mid-morning Monday.

Snowfall amounts are expected to peak across the province overnight. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Eastern areas of the province including the Northumberland Shore and Cape Breton will remain stormy through Monday morning, with the snow easing early in the afternoon.

Winds are expected to remain gusty throughout the day. 

Environment Canada said rapidly accumulating snow will create poor road conditions. Halifax Regional Police are warning drivers to avoid unnecessary travel.

The snow and winds will ease then taper off from west to east through Monday. Western areas of Nova Scotia will see conditions improve by mid-morning. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Halifax prepares for storm

Halifax Transit said it will be ending all bus, Access-A-Bus and ferry services at 7 p.m. Sunday ahead of the storm.

Trips leaving before 7 p.m. will be completed, according to a news release. Service is not expected to resume until at least 10 a.m. on Monday.

The Halifax Regional Municipality also advises residents that the overnight winter parking ban will be enforced early Monday. Vehicles must be off municipal streets between 1-6 a.m. to allow crews to clear streets and sidewalks of snow.

Marine Atlantic cancellations

Marine Atlantic has delayed and cancelled some crossings ahead of the winter storm.

The ferry service said due to adverse weather in the Cabot Strait, the following changes have been made to their Sunday morning crossings:

  • North Sydney to Port aux Basques at 11:45 a.m. has been rescheduled to depart at 6 p.m.
  • Port aux Basques to North Sydney at 11:45 a.m. has also been rescheduled to depart at 6 p.m.

Two Sunday evening crossings have been cancelled, including:

  • North Sydney to Port aux Basques at 11:45 p.m.
  • Port aux Basques to North Sydney at 11:45 p.m.

The ferry service also expects all four crossings between North Sydney and Port aux Basques to be affected on Monday.

A full list of cancellations can be found here.

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