Punishing winter storm belts East Coast with heavy snow and high winds

Winter weather

Most of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as southern New Brunswick, are being pounded by heavy snow and high winds this morning, creating whiteout conditions in many areas.

The storm moved into the Maritimes overnight heading west to east and is forecast to continues on into southern Newfoundland later today.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for much of the East Coast.

Agency meteorologist Samantha Roch said Nova Scotia had received 25 to 35 centimetres of snow by 4 a.m. with another 10 to 15 centimetres expected in central and northern areas of the province.

She said eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton could expect another 20 to 30 centimetres before the snow tapers off late this morning or early this afternoon.

P.E.I. had received about 20 centimetres, and Roch said the province could expect another 10 before the snow stops falling this afternoon, while southern New Brunswick was looking another five to 10 centimetres.

With powerful winds gusting from 60 to 90 kilometres an hour Roch said blowing snow was reducing visability to near zero in many areas, creating hazardous driving conditions.

Provincial government offices in Nova Scotia were to delay opening until noon, and the province said in a news release that the situation would be re-evaluated mid morning.

Meanwhile the city of Halifax closed transit services early, at 7 p.m., on Sunday evening.

Parks and recreations services, such as the Emera skating oval, could also see delays.