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Good Friday: Bad Weather

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In the Spring of the year, even warm air masses can bring wintry weather.  The ice cover in the Gulf of St. Lawrence helps keep the temperatures at the surface below freezing when winds blow from the northeast.  Even though it is raining aloft, a cold layer near the surface results in the rain either:

  • freezing on the way down, which produced ice pellets (frozen raindrops referred to as sleet in the USA)
  • freezing when the raindrop hits the cold surface (the raindrops remain liquid until they hit: supercooled)

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This situation is moving into the Maritimes on Friday, which will result in extended periods of freezing rain.  Environment Canada has issued freezing rain warnings for central New Brunswick and western Prince Edward Island; and a Special Weather Statement for northern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, central and eastern PEI and southern New Brunswick.

Light snow will begin tonight in western sections of the Maritimes.  On Friday, roads could be slippery in the early morning anywhere in the Maritimes.  As the morning proceeds, winds will shift to the southwest, change the precipitation to rain in Nova Scotia.  This wind shift will take place in the afternoon or evening in southern New Brunswick, PEI and Cape Breton.


The persisting northeast flow over the central part of the Maritimes has the risk of a substantial ice build up on roads, trees, and wires.  This will impact road and air travel, and threaten power lines, resulting in outages.  Luckily, the winds are not expected to be too strong out of the northeast.

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In Northern New Brunswick, snow and ice pellets will accumulate, and a snowfall warning has been issued by Environment Canada.

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Those with travel plans, especially into Cape Breton, PEI, or New Brunswick, are best to avoid Friday.  The rest of the Easter weekend looks fine.

Another system will move in Monday night into Tuesday… need to pay attention to northeast winds once again.

stay safe

Jim  #fcst


About Jim Abraham

Jim has spent about 40 years in the weather business. He has been an operational forecaster from Halifax to Whitehorse. Jim started the Canadian Hurricane Centre, and has flown into a couple of these storms. As a senior executive within Environment Canada, Jim has managed weather research, weather services, and weather/water/climate observing programs. Retired from Environment Canada, Jim is the Atlantic Director for the Canadian Climate Forum, the president of the Halifax chapter of the Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society, a partner in Climaction Services, and a part-time meteorologist on CBC radio. He is still participating in national and international activities related to weather preparedness. Having witnessed unprecedented advances in the science and technology of meteorology. Jim hopes that this blog will also be educational; enabling users to better understand weather-related phenomena, better interpret available information, and ultimately better able to make decisions to protect themselves, their family and their property. Jim welcomes any questions and suggestions.


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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