Nova Scotia

Heavy snow and wind cancel classes, disrupt travel in Maritimes

Parts of the Maritimes could see 20 to 35 centimetres of snow along with gusty winds throughout much of Wednesday, forcing schools to cancel classes and other disruptions.

The weather is expected to break by Thursday morning

By Thursday morning, some parts of Nova Scotia could have more than 35 centimetres of snow as a storm hits the Maritimes. (Dave Irish/CBC)

High winds and heavy snow throughout the day Wednesday shut down schools across the Maritimes, with snow-covered roads making driving difficult and some flights delayed or cancelled in all three provinces. 

The weather has also kept some ferries in port. 

Schools in the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, the Cape Breton Centre for Education, the South Shore Regional Centre for Education and the Tri-County Regional Centre for Education are all closed.

Many francophone schools in southeast New Brunswick and the Anglophone East School District are shut down, and all public schools and French-language schools are cancelled in Prince Edward Island.   

Nova Scotia is expected to be hardest hit by the weather. 

Environment Canada has issued a heavy snowfall warning for much of the province, with mainland areas expected to get as much as 20 to 35 centimetres of snow.

Cape Breton could see 35 centimetres, with parts of the Highlands getting even more. There is also a chance the snow in Cape Breton will be mixed with rain. 

Northerly winds are expected to gust up to around 60 km/h for much of the day and into the evening. Cape Breton could get gusts of up to 80 km/h. 

The heavy snow combined with wind is expected to cause traffic problems throughout the day. (Dave Irish/CBC)

In southern New Brunswick, five to 10 centimetres of snow are expected, with winds getting up to around 50 km/h, according to CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin. Northern New Brunswick will mostly avoid the storm, with only two centimetres of snow. P.E.I. will be much the same, with as little as five centimetres expected in the west and up to 20 centimetres in the east. Winds are expected to be up to 50 km/h during the day, with gusts up to 60 km/h overnight.   

It's expected the winds will kick up the snow and reduce visibility, making for poor driving conditions. 

Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult and may have a significant impact on rush-hour traffic in urban areas, according to Environment Canada's snowfall warning for much of Nova Scotia.   

The Marine Atlantic ferry service between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland has cancelled its runs for this morning, and there are numerous cancelled and delayed flights at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. 

The strong winds and heavy snow are expected to leave the region by Thursday morning, said CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon. But he said there are three other weather systems set to track across the region Friday through Sunday that could bring more snow, ice and rain.