Messy storm system heading for northern and eastern Nova Scotia
Spring storm to bring prolonged periods of freezing rain, snow to parts of province
A storm system out of the southwest is expected to bring a messy mix of weather to parts of northern and eastern Nova Scotia starting Thursday night.
Environment Canada has Antigonish, Colchester, Cumberland, Guysborough and Pictou counties under freezing rain warnings. The national weather service says four to eight hours of freezing rain is expected for these areas.
"Our incoming system is already tracking in and will bring a messy mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and even the risk of thunderstorms," said CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.
Snoddon said prolonged freezing for up to eight hours is possible in some areas. The heaviest rain is set for southwestern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Snoddon said.
The precipitation will begin as snow or ice pellets Thursday evening across all of Nova Scotia and then change over to a period of freezing rain overnight and into Friday morning before becoming rain.
"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas," Environment Canada warned on its website.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch for all of Cape Breton. There, snow will mix with ice pellets beginning overnight on Thursday and will transition to a long period of freezing rain on Friday.
"Similar storms in the past had significant ice build up leading to snapped tree branches and utility outages," the national weather service said in a statement.
Snoddon said southwestern areas will see the quickest transition from snow through ice to rain overnight and into Friday morning. He said areas farther north and east will see the "mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain linger longest on Friday and into Friday evening."
CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said snow will occur for the better part of Friday in Cape Breton with snow totals between 15 to 20 centimetres before changing over to freezing rain and rain.
Southeasterly winds between 30 and 50 km/h, but gusts up to 120 km/h, are expected from Margaree Harbour to Bay St. Lawrence, where Les Suêtes wind warnings are in place Friday afternoon and evening.
Les Suêtes wind warnings are issued when there is a significant risk of damaging winds.
With files from Tina Simpkin and Ryan Snoddon