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Sea weather: Warmer at the weekend

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A very stagnant weather pattern will persist in the Maritimes through Friday.

The pattern is a combination of stalled low pressure over Ontario, a block in the jet stream and cool marine air from the North Atlantic. Cloudy skies and areas of showers, drizzle and fog are expected through Friday morning. Cold rain has also fallen and highs have been in the mid to high single digits in most areas, well below average for early May. In fact, the rain has been so cold that it has mixed with some wet snow in some areas. Snow is expected in Sydney and parts of Cape Breton Wednesday morning.

An extensive low pressure system and a block in the jet stream are keeping the Maritimes cool and wet this week. In contrast, there is a ridge in western Canada that has caused temperatures in British Columbia and the Prairies to rise to over -6 degrees.

The wet weather also has its advantages. It is good for rivers, wells and the fire weather index. After the weekend, fire bans were in place in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. These bans have been lifted since Thursday.

Rainfall was reported for the Maritimes from Sunday through Wednesday, with some rainfall amounts along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast exceeding half the average total for May.

But how about some sun? After a cloudy, misty and rainy start on Friday, there's a chance the sun will break through later in the day. This is most likely for New Brunswick, while Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are more likely to see clouds break Friday evening and overnight. Part of this change is due to a change in wind direction. Instead of the steady east-northeast wind we're currently experiencing, the wind is blowing more from the north-northwest. This is more conducive to bringing in less humid air from the continent.

It's a foggy and rainy start, but the clouds could clear on Friday. New Brunswick is likely to see sunshine in the afternoon.

Still, there is reason to be optimistic that there will be more sun over the weekend. Due to a ridge of high pressure just west of the Maritimes, Saturday and Sunday are likely to be nice weather with sun and clouds. Temperatures will also rise. Highs of between 15 and 20 degrees are expected across much of New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia on Saturday. It will be even cooler on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, with highs of between 15 and 25 degrees. Highs of between 15 and 20 degrees are expected across much of the Maritimes on Sunday, but between 10 and 20 degrees on parts of the coast.

Generally good weather is expected for the coming weekend. With more sun, temperatures will rise closer to the average for early May.

Current weather forecasts and regional weather conditions on CTV News Atlantic at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.