Airlines cancelled flights in anticipation of an intense winter storm that was slowly edging into the Maritimes Tuesday with expected heavy snow, high winds and pounding surf in coastal areas.
Environment Canada issued a slew of warnings for the Maritime provinces, with up to 25 centimetres of snow expected in some areas starting late Tuesday afternoon and persisting into Wednesday.
The national weather forecaster was also predicting potentially damaging high winds that could gust up to 110 kilometres an hour along coastal areas of Nova Scotia.
Environment Canada meteorologist Ian Hubbard said the storm was centred southeast of Cape Cod at midday and was slowly tracking towards Nova Scotia and the rest of the Maritimes.
“All of the weather out ahead of it will be affecting the region later today and overnight,” said Hubbard. “This is going to impact all three provinces over the next 24 to 36 hours.”
Higher than normal water levels and pounding surf could also cause flooding in coastal areas during high tide.
Hubbard said New Brunswick would get the bulk of the snowfall from the system.
“Snowfall amounts in New Brunswick are ranging from 20 to 25 centimetres with this event, possibly as high as 40 centimetres for some areas with blowing snow as well,” he said.
Hubbard said the first snow flurries of the system were recorded shortly before noon at the Yarmouth, N.S., airport.
Cancellations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Fredericton International Airport were already piling up hours before the first snowflake fell.
The Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick to P.E.I. also warned of possible restrictions on traffic later in the day.
Nova Scotia Power had set up an emergency operations centre on Monday evening, warning customers to prepare for power outages.
The centre is used to coordinate power outage restoration and to liaise with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.
The utility says powerline crews and forestry teams have been positioned across the province.
The storm is the third winter wallop to hit the Maritimes in as many days.
Environment Canada was also calling for high winds gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour in Newfoundland on Wednesday.