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    Brett Anderson

    Update on Blizzard Tonight and early Friday

    3/21/2013, 11:17:21 AM

    Based on everything that I have looked at from this morning and afternoon I still like the storm track and most of the snowfall forecast that I posted yesterday below for the snowstorm/blizzard tonight and early Friday for parts of Atlantic Canada.

    Clearly, the worst of the storm will be from the Sheet Harbour and New Glasgow areas of Nova Scotia on east and northeast into the Cape Breton Highlands with blizzard conditions overnight tonight into early Friday morning. Expect anywhere from 25 to locally 40 cm of snow with near zero visibility at times with the strong winds gusting past 80 kmh. Areas just west of the Cape Breton Highlands will see gusts in excess of 110 kmh tonight. Travel in this region is highly discouraged.

    For Sydney, N.S. it will be a bad storm as well, though some sleet and pockets of drier air may cut down on the snow a little bit, but not much. If the storm jogs just 50 km farther east than expected then the worst of the blizzard conditions will cover Sydney.

    The heavier snow should also get up into extreme eastern PEI, but amounts will diminish steadily once you reach the western end of the island.

    Halifax is a tough call. The projected track should lead to accumulating snow into tonight. I still like 8-15 cm of wind blown snow by Friday morning. Snow amounts will quickly diminish as you go southwest of Halifax.

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    The storm bringing the snow to the U.S. midsection Saturday and Sunday should miss the GTA and most of SW Ontario, though areas down toward Windsor and St. Thomas may get a small accumulation. I favor the more southern tracks as the northern blocking pattern is unusually strong and tends to surpress the storm tracks farther south.

    I will post the latest ECMWF long range information this evening. Waiting for the real Spring to show up!

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    Previous blog on the storm with snow maps that I still like.... Blizzard Potential Thursday night/early Friday for the eastern Maritimes.

    You can also follow my comments on the storm via my twitter @BrettAWX

    A weak storm currently near Florida will rapidly intensify out over the Atlantic on Thursday as it turns northeast then more north.


    590x393_03201801_stm1


    We project the storm center to pass barely east of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Friday morning then continue north and slow its forward speed after that.

    Based on the expected track, parts of eastern Nova Scotia and the eastern half of PEI can expect blizzard conditions Thursday night into Friday afternoon with over 30 cm of snow and higher drifts.


    590x393_03201803_stm2


    Any slight shift in the track (west or east) will have major impacts for places such as Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown, PEI.

    I expect a heavy snowfall in Sydney, but some mixing is possible and a dry slot could cut down on the precipitation for a time, so I went a little less (15-30 cm) here compared to areas just north and west.

    Computer models are still at odds with the track, with the American models on the western end and the Canadian/European models farther east. I am not ready to buy the NAM model which is well west and brings the blizzard into Halifax and Amherst, while it changes to rain in Sydney.

    Snow will spread over the region from south to north Thursday evening with the worst conditions later Thursday night and early Friday.

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    In terms of the late weekend storm, I still feel that the GFS model track is a bit too far to the north with the steady snow getting all the way into southwestern Ontario. I will address this more in detail tomorrow.

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

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