A winter storm that will hit P.E.I. Tuesday will be a “grinder” that will see a steady snowfall mixed with winds to create hazardous driving conditions, says Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby.
Libby said much of the province can expect 15 to 20 cm of snowfall, as well as blowing snow and drifting throughout the day.
Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for all of P.E.I., with the strengthening low-pressure system from the U.S. east coast expected to track south of N.S. on Tuesday.
Libby said snowfall will start in the early hours Tuesday and will fall steadily throughout much of the day, rather than a large amount in a short time period.
“We’re looking at a very persistent storm… this is a grinder,” said Libby.
Libby said eastern areas of P.E.I. could see the most snowfall. While some areas of East Prince may see up to 15 cm, West Prince may receive less accumulation.
While Libby said the storm will not bring the biggest snowfall this winter, the combination of powder and wind will create significant reductions in visibility.
Northeasterly winds will build overnight and reach 55 to 60 km/h in the morning and 65 km/h by noon.
“We are looking at winds that will be below the wind warning criteria but still strong enough to blow this snow around,” said Libby.
One major factor behind the blowing snow will be the temperature, with minus-4 C expected in Kings County and slightly colder in Charlottetown.
“With that temperature, the snow has a different texture. It moves around a whole lot easier, it’s not as wet and not as sticky so that means it doesn’t need 90 km/h to move it around, at 50, 60 or 70 km/h it will move around pretty good,” said Libby, adding that areas prone to blowing snow and poor visibility could be "quite bad."
“The word I keep coming up with in my head is ‘dirty’. It will be a nasty day to be out on the roads.”
While the snowfall is largely expected to be over by midnight, there could be some periods of snow overnight into Wednesday.
Libby said winds will shift from northeast to northerly by midnight Tuesday, and will then turn northwest on Wednesday as they start diminishing.
Environment Canada advised Islanders to monitor alerts and forecasts. Those wishing to report severe weather can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet reports using the hashtag #PEStorm.
LIVE STREAM of downtown Charlottetown to see weather conditions there, courtesy of the P.E.I. government and The Guild
Cloudy. Snow beginning after midnight. Blowing snow over exposed areas before morning. Amount 2 cm.
TEMPERATURE: Down around –9 but temperature expected to rise to around –6 by morning.
WIND: Becoming northeast, gusting to 40 late this evening, then increasing to gusts around 60 before morning.
FORECAST FOR TUESDAY, JAN. 30:
Snow, at times heavy, and blowing snow. Amount 15 cm.
TEMPERATURE: Steady near –6.
WIND: Northeast, gusting to 70.
First light – 6:31 a.m.
Civil twilight – 7:07
Official Sunrise – 7:39 a.m.
Official Sunset – 5:11 p.m.
Civil twilight ends – 5:44 p.m.
Last light – 6:20 p.m.
Moon – Rises today at 3:13 p.m., and sets tomorrow at 6:44 a.m.
The official length of daylight today is 9 hours, 32 minutes.
The highest temperature on record for Jan. 29 on P.E.I. is +8.3 set in 1950.
The lowest temperature on record for this date is –22.2 set in 1971.
For Jan. 29 on P.E.I., the average high is –3.9.
Average low for this date is -13.3.
The hot spot in Canada this morning was at Saturna Island in B.C. where it was +10.8.
The coldest spot anywhere in Canada early this morning was at Eureka, Nunavut where it was -40.6.
Below is a live-stream camera view courtesy of Confederation Bridge to give a sense of weather conditions at that location.