Blizzard will be worst yet this winter: Environment Canada

Nancy MacPhee
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Wednesday a good day to stay home, says meteorologist Linda Libby

SUMMERSIDE — It may be a good day to stay indoors.

A man walks along a Summerside street during a recent storm. File photo

High winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow, resulting in almost zero visibility for most of the day Wednesday and into the evening, will make for the worst storm yet this winter, says an official with Environment Canada.

Meteorologist Linda Libby said the winter storm, now upgraded to a blizzard, will pound the entire province.

“Plan for a storm day,” Libby said late Tuesday afternoon. “If you don’t have to go anywhere, plan a day at home.”

The forecast for Wednesday had initially been for a winter storm but, now, with two low-pressure systems moving in, a blizzard is expected to wallop the province.

“This is a little different than most weather systems,” said Libby. “The first low is not going to have a lot of influence but it is going to bring the first of the snow for us.”

That was expected to start shortly after midnight and continue into the morning, bringing with it about three to five centimetres of the white stuff.

By mid morning, the second low was expected to move in, bringing more snow and higher winds.

“The bulk of the snow and worst of the conditions are associated with that second low,” said Libby. “That will bring more snow. Light snow will become heavier as the morning progresses, particularly after about mid morning onward.”

By then, visibility will be poor, almost nil, with a prolonged period of northeast winds, which are expected to begin around 6 or 7 a.m., gusting 40 to 60 kilometres per hour.

Those winds are expected to intensify by late afternoon and continue into the evening, gusting 50 to 80 km/h.

The high will be -7 degrees Celsius – or feel like -20 with the wind chill.

It won’t be until around 8 p.m., at the earliest, that the bulk of the snow will stop, but with an expected 12 to 15 cm of fine, light snow on the ground and some of the strongest forecast high winds, blizzard conditions will continue until midnight.

The forecast had, by Tuesday evening, prompted several cancellations and even a press release from Canada Post indicating that mail delivery could be impeded.

“Every attempt will be made to get all the mail out for delivery but, due to the severe weather, some addresses may not receive mail tomorrow. Once the weather improves, normal delivery will resume,” read the release. “To ensure our carriers are not impeded, we request that home owners and business owners clear the snow and ice from their sidewalks, walkways and stairs so our employees can deliver mail safely.”

Libby said the forecast does get better for Thursday and into Friday. Initially, a possible system for Friday was being tracked but it looks like the next winter wallop won’t happen until late Saturday.

“We are indicating something maybe for Sunday,” she added. “It starts off as snow and ends as snow. There is period between where they are showing some snow mixed with rain for a couple of hours.”

“It will be light during the day on Saturday and gets worse into the evening, when people want to go out and do things, and it is hinting at another system for Sunday night into Monday with mixed precipitation… and snow.”

Stay tuned to the Journal Pioneer’s website--- -- Facebook page and Twitter -- @JournalPEI – for the latest on the storm and updates throughout the day.












Organizations: Environment Canada, Canada Post, Journal Pioneer

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Recent comments

  • jeff
    January 22, 2014 - 08:34

    Good call on that one so far