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WEATHER U: A word about warnings

Here's a look at last Tuesday's "warnings" map. You'll notice the edges of the warning zones coincide with the county lines.
Here's a look at last Tuesday's warnings map. You'll notice the edges of the warning zones coincide with the county lines. - Cindy Day

The midweek storm was a doozy.  It soaked Nova’s Scotia eastern shore region with more than 75 mm of rain; dumped close to 50 cm of snow in the Miramichi area of New Brunswick; glazed roads in southeastern Newfoundland with hours of freezing rain; triggered winter thunderstorms and brought wind gusts that flirted with the 200 km/h mark to parts of Cape Breton and Newfoundland.

On Wednesday morning, there were 100 weather statements, advisories, watches and warnings in effect across Atlantic Canada. 

As people were trying to make sense of this “storm of many colours” and figure out how it would impact them, I noticed a few comments on Facebook I thought I should address.

Somewhat in jest, a woman remarked that “heavy snow doesn’t like to cross over from New Brunswick into Nova Scotia.” In the past, some have asked how it could be possible to have a heavy snowfall warning for Sackville, N.B., and not for Amherst N.S.?  For the most part, here in Atlantic Canada, watches and warnings are issued by counties.  Snowfall totals might not be the same from one end of the county to the other but the warning covers the entire county.  Conversely, you may live on the edge of a county that borders an area of heavy snow but if that’s not the case for most of your county, you would not be under the warning.

A Weather Warning map is one very important part of the montage of weather graphics and charts I use, but it’s especially useful when coupled with other data and forecast tools that paint a clearer picture for a specific area.

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