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    Major Coastal Storm to Form Saturday

    February 14, 2014; 2:24 PM ET

    Just as one storm begins to move out of the picture, we set our attention to an innocent-looking system across the Midwest U.S. that will eventually turn into a very intense storm over the Maritimes late Saturday night and Sunday.

    Before I get to the weekend storm, the snow continues to fall from southern Quebec through northern New Brunswick and up through the Gaspe region as a powerful 970 mb storm system moves northeastward over eastern Maine at this time.

    The storm ended up tracking even farther west, which allowed a dry slot of air to quickly cut off the snow for several hours over the northern half of New Brunswick. Therefore, the heaviest snow ended up over eastern/southeastern Quebec with a more persistent band of heavier snow.

    Here are some preliminary snowfall amounts out of Quebec from EC as of 7:45 a.m. today. Obviously, these will have to be updated later since the snow continues to fall.

    This westward shift also allowed milder air to push farther north and west, leading to a more northern/westward extent of the rain/snow/mix line.

    Snow will wind down from southwest to northeast through this evening from southern Quebec through northern New Brunswick as the storm lifts northeast.


    Weekend storm

    This second storm will rapidly intensify off the U.S. East coast Saturday as it hits the Gulf Stream waters. The storm will then turn northeast and make a beeline toward Nova Scotia Saturday night and into early Sunday, bringing heavy snow, rain and strong winds to Atlantic Canada Saturday evening into Sunday.

    Computer models are in pretty good agreement in terms of rapid intensification, but they differ slightly on the track.

    I like a track right up into south-central Nova Scotia by early Sunday morning then near the Cape Breton Highlands Sunday afternoon. This storm will likely be more intense than the current one and could bottom out to as low as 964 mb (central pressure).

    Well north and west of the track, the combination of heavy snow and strong winds will lead to blizzard conditions later Saturday night and into the first half of Sunday over New Brunswick. Lighter snow for Sunday afternoon, but windy with blowing and drifting.

    Winds could gust past 110 km/h over Cape Breton Sunday morning from the east-southeast. I also expect to see strong W to WNW winds on the back side of the storm with over 100 km/h possible Sunday over PEI and the northeast coast of Nova Scotia.

    Even though it looks like most, if not all of the precipitation Saturday evening into early Sunday will be in the form of snow over extreme southeastern New Brunswick, western PEI and extreme northwestern Nova Scotia the track of the 700 mb low with the system could send a dry slot of air into that region Sunday morning and quickly shut down the snow and perhaps lead to a light mix of snow/sleet or rain.

    The Halifax, N.S., area will likely get a burst of wet snow at the start before gradually changing over Saturday night.

    Wind and precipitation will diminish from southwest to northeast late Sunday and Sunday night.


    Other highlights.......

    --Wet pattern will continue into early next week over the Pacific Northwest and southern BC with the potential for flooding over western/central Vancouver Island. Snow will continue to mount up over the Coastal Mountains and into the Rockies with an addition 50-100 cm into early next week.

    --A weak storm system will likely spread a band of light to moderate snow across southern Manitoba Sunday night with the potential for 5-10 cm.

    --This same system will try to push a warm front toward southern/central Ontario Monday and Monday night. As the milder air gets lifted over the colder air to the east, the result will be snow with the potential for light to moderate accumulations.

    --The pattern the second half of next week will certainly be warmer than it has been; however, I am not as impressed with the warm-up as I was a few days ago, and this warm-up will be fairly brief before it turns colder for the following weekend and week, though not a bitter cold. The combination of extensive snow cover, Great Lakes ice/cold water certainly does not make it easy to warm as much as it could.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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