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Winter storm shuts down schools, disrupts travel in Maritime provinces


March 4, 2019   by The Canadian Press


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HALIFAX – Schools and government offices across the Maritimes were closed Monday as a snowstorm swept across the region, the second nasty blast of winter in as many days.

A blustery mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain enveloped Prince Edward Island, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to remain grounded for a few hours after making a funding announcement just after noon.

Environment Canada said a low-pressure system tracked across Nova Scotia, bringing heavy snow to New Brunswick, P.E.I. and much of Nova Scotia.

Up to 40 centimetres of snow was expected in parts of New Brunswick and the Island.

Meteorologist Ian Hubbard said the storm was expected to bring “quite a mess” of weather to Nova Scotia.

He said heavy snow was expected to change to ice pellets or freezing rain in the afternoon, and then switch to rain later in the evening along the Atlantic coast.

“This is the second system we’ve had in a few days in the Maritimes,” Hubbard noted. “This is tracking closer to Nova Scotia and kind of further north than the one the other day, so we are going to see a variety of weather for parts of Nova Scotia.”

Many schools in all three Maritime provinces were closed ahead of the storm.

Some flights at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Fredericton International Airport and Charlottetown Airport were delayed or cancelled. Marine Atlantic cancelled its crossings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Meanwhile, the national weather forecaster was warning of strong winds of up to 100 kilometres an hour in parts of Newfoundland, causing blowing snow and poor visibility.

Hubbard said there was more snow in the forecast for later this week.

“Once we get through his mess today, we’ll be getting into northwesterly winds for the next two days,” he said.

“It looks like maybe on Wednesday we could see a little bit of snow for parts of Nova Scotia, but certainly it’s not expected to be a major system like we’ve experienced today or on the weekend.”