Wintry mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain headed for Atlantic Canada

Wintry mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain headed for Atlantic Canada

A wintry mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain is tracking eastward over Atlantic Canada today, with forecasters warning the low pressure system could interrupt holiday travel and threaten power lines.

Environment Canada has issued weather alerts warning of potentially icy roads, slippery sidewalks, heavy rain and strong winds across much of the region.

Most of New Brunswick is blanketed by freezing rain warnings while special weather statements in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. indicate snow will change over to ice pellets, freezing rain, and rain before diminishing to scattered showers Saturday morning.

READ: Winter weather forecast: What Canadians can expect from coast to coast

Newfoundland is under multiple blowing snow advisories while a Wreckhouse wind warning is in effect for the extreme southwestern tip of the province, with gusts expected to reach 100 km/h overnight.

Linda Libby, a meteorologist with the federal forecasting service, says the weather will be messy and create tricky travel conditions.

She says the duration of the freezing rain, which could hover over parts of the Maritimes for several hours, may cause some infrastructure damage.

In a tweet, NB Power says it will monitor the weather as it progresses in New Brunswick, with crews ready to respond if power outages happen.

In Halifax, where snow and ice pellets are expected to change over to rain as temperatures rise above freezing overnight, the municipality says it will enforce the overnight winter parking ban “to allow crews to properly clear the streets and sidewalks.”

With temperatures across much of the East Coast reaching the mid-single digits Saturday, Libby says shovels may not be necessary except in northern New Brunswick, Newfoundland and areas with higher elevation.

“It’s not the worst storm we’ll have all winter but it’s certainly one that will be tricky,” she says.

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