As we reach mid-December, roads and airports are becoming increasingly busy as the holidays approach. The Maritimes have been relative fortunate; but the travelling public should modify any plans to take into consideration the rather complicated storm that will impact the region today and Tuesday.
A warm front will initially spread bands of snow into central and western areas today. This will change to ice pellets and freezing rain through the late afternoon, evening and overnight hours, and ultimately to rain in most of Mainland Nova Scotia and the Fundy coast of New Brunswick.
Elsewhere in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, this changeover may be brief, since a new low pressure system will be developing on the front, and intensifying while it moves southeast. This will change the winds from southeast to northeast.. resulting in much of the rain changing back to snow.
Winds will be strongest with the rain, with southeast winds likely gusting to 70-80km/h. This could result in some power outages, but not likely widespread. However, the freezing rain in central New Brunswick may also result in power disruptions.
The northeast winds that will develop later Tuesday and Tuesday night gusting to 70km/h will result in reduced visibilities in blowing snow.
Snowfalls will be highest in Northern New Brunswick (20 to 30cm); but eastern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton are also at risk to get more than 15cm. The mixed precipitation makes the snow depth difficult to forecast (and difficult to remove).
In Halifax and along the Atlantic coast of the Mainland and the Fundy coast of New Brunswick, there will be a bit of snow today, and mixed precipitation tonight and again Tuesday night that may make roads greasy. However, there should not be much total accumulation of snow, since 30 to 40mm of rain is expected. No shovel needed.
Driving will be slick in places today, but increasingly hazardous tonight and Tuesday, regardless of the precipitation type. Even wind and rain in Nova Scotia will make driving somewhat hazardous. Best to postpone travel plans if you can, since the rest of the week should be better.
Environment Canada has a variety of winter related warnings for New Brunswick, and a Special Weather Statement for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island