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Sea weather: Northeast storms arrive during the week

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A coastal storm that strengthened near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, early Tuesday morning will move toward southwest Nova Scotia on Wednesday and continue east of the Maritimes on Thursday.

Special weather advisories are in effect for all three Maritime provinces, indicating that snow depths could reach or exceed 10 cm in some cases. Snow warnings are in effect for parts of eastern New Brunswick, predicting 15 to 20 cm of snow Tuesday through Wednesday.

Snowfall warnings totaling 15 to 25 cm are issued for Cape Breton, Richmond and Guysborough counties in eastern Nova Scotia for the period Tuesday to Wednesday.

A gale warning has been issued for northern Inverness County in Cape Breton. Such a warning is issued when there is a significant risk of damaging winds.

Snow will move from west to east on Tuesday afternoon and evening, with rain spreading across much of mainland Nova Scotia.

TIMED COORDINATION

Due to the slow movement of the weather system, the region will experience weather impacts from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday night, with persistent snowfall expected in eastern areas through Thursday morning.

Expect inclement weather, including patchy snow changing to rain, strong winds, and rough and roaring surf. Snow will spread from west to east across the Maritimes Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening.

A change from snow to rain is expected on mainland Nova Scotia and along the Bay of Fundy coast in New Brunswick. Some rain may mix with the snow on Prince Edward Island.

Persistent snowfall is forecast for the eastern parts of the Maritimes on Wednesday.

Snow amounts

Most of the snow is expected in a band through New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the eastern territories of Nova Scotia. Parts of eastern New Brunswick, western PEI and Cape Breton could see a total of 20 to 30 cm of snowfall as persistent snow could linger through Wednesday.

More than 30 cm of snow is expected to fall in the Cape Breton Highlands. It is possible that more snow will accumulate in these areas on Thursday.

Snow is expected in northwestern New Brunswick. In addition, a rainstorm could limit snowfall to 5 to 15 cm across much of mainland Nova Scotia and parts of the Bay of Fundy coast in New Brunswick. These areas could receive 5 to 15 mm of rainfall, and the rain combined with melting snow could cause standing water problems.

Snowfall amounts of up to 4 inches or more could fall across much of the Maritimes. The heaviest snowfall is most likely in the eastern parts of the region.

WIND AND SURF

A period of stronger easterly winds will affect Nova Scotia as well as coastal areas of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

This wind will develop from west to east across the region Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening. Expect peak gusts of 50 to 70 km/h, except for 70 to 90 km/h near the coast.

Due to the topography of the Highlands, stronger gusts of up to 120 km/h and more are possible in northern Inverness County in Cape Breton during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.

On Wednesday, winds will be northeasterly, with gusts expected to be between 30 and 60 km/h. Although winds have eased slightly compared to Tuesday, caution is advised in eastern parts of the Maritimes as the still gusty winds combined with persistent snowfall could reduce visibility.

The increased wind will create rough and stormy surf where it makes landfall. Higher than normal water levels are expected along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast. Extra caution is advised near this surf, especially at high tide on Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The first snowfalls and rains, which will begin on Tuesday, will be accompanied by a period of stronger east/southeast winds.