**Updated** Region braces for blast of winter weather

**Updated at 9:22 a.m.**

The Maritimes are bracing for another blast of winter weather.

Environment Canada says the snow is expected to begin near noon over southwestern Nova Scotia, reaching northern Nova Scotia late Tuesday afternoon.

The weather agency has issued a winter storm warning in Cumberland County, where 15 centimetres of snow is expected Tuesday night and another 5 cm on Wednesday.

A winter storm watch remains in effect in Colchester, Hants, and Pictou counties, with 10 to 15 cm of snow forecast Tuesday night before changing to rain overnight.

Very strong east to northeasterly winds will develop later Tuesday and persist into the evening, gusting from 70 to 90 km/h in most areas.

Airlines have already cancelled flights ahead of an intense winter storm that's expected to bring heavy snow, high winds and pounding surf to Atlantic Canada.

Cancellations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Fredericton International Airport were already piling up Tuesday morning, hours before the first snowflake fell.

The Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick to P.E.I. also warned of possible restrictions on traffic later Tuesday.

Nova Scotia Power had set up an emergency operations centre on Monday evening, warning customers to prepare for power outages.

The centre is used to co-ordinate power outage restoration and to liaise with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.

The utility says powerline crews and forestry teams have been positioned across the province.

The storm is the third winter wallop to hit the Maritimes in as many days.

(With files from The Canadian Press)