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Updated: Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:54:30 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Blizzard barrels toward Atlantic Canada

Blizzard barrels toward Atlantic Canada

This year is picking up right where 2013 left off, with some active winter weather right across Atlantic Canada.

A low-pressure system moving northeast is expected to pick up strength off the northeastern seaboard of the U.S. Thursday night.

Windchill warnings have been issued for much of New Brunswick as well as Newfoundland. 

Most of Nova Scotia is under blizzard warnings, including the Annapolis Valley, up through the Atlantic coastline, past the South Shore, Halifax, Eastern Shore and southern Cape Breton.

The rest of Nova Scotia, all of P.E.I. and portions of New Brunswick and Newfoundland are under warnings for blowing snow, which is expected to cause reduced visibility, including whiteout conditions, and slippery roads. Visibility is expected to be less than 400 metres.

In terms of snowfall, Nova Scotia, Shelburne and Yarmouth are expected to receive 15 to 25 centimetres, with much of the rest of the province expecting 10 to 20 centimetres. The North Shore and northern Cape Breton will receive the least amount of snow, with between five and 10 centimetres expected.

P.E.I. and New Brunswick are also expected to receive between five and 10 centimetres of snow. 

Southeast Newfoundland is forecast to receive the most snow, between 30 to 40 centimetres. Snowfall will taper off toward the northwest.

With the bulk of the snow expected in Friday's storm yet to fall, most flights along the eastern seaboard are delayed or cancelled.

Police in many areas are warning drivers to prepare for hazardous driving conditions and are reminding drivers it's an offence to drive with windows obscured by ice and snow.

Classes haven’t resumed yet, but a handful of universities have closed their campuses. For a list of cancellations, click here.

“We’ve dealt with snowfall amounts like this already this year," said CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell, "but what we haven't dealt with is these types of snowfall amounts in this type of cold air and with the gusty winds that we’re going to be seeing.

"It’s going to be a very light, icy, fluffy snow blowing around quite a bit. That’s why visibility is going to be a huge concern throughout the day on Friday. 

The Maritimes can expect the worst to hit between 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday before the weather system starts to move out toward Newfoundland and Labrador.

The cold snap is expected to last Sunday night into Monday.

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