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Updated: Fri, 03 Jan 2014 09:41:21 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Worst of blizzard yet to come for Atlantic Canadians



One of the Halifax airport's largest snowplow races down the runway. Teams can clear it in as little as seven minutes. Carolyn Ray/CBC

One of the Halifax airport's largest snowplow races down the runway. Teams can clear it in as little as seven minutes. Carolyn Ray/CBC

It was a slow morning for commuters and travellers in Nova Scotia facing slick roads and bone-chilling temperatures, but Environment Canada warns the worst is yet to come.  

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. Another 10 to 20 centimetres of snow are expected across Nova Scotia on Friday, mixed with strong winds and causing whiteout conditions.

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.

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

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.

“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.

Halifax bus detours, winter parking ban continue 

Halifax's winter parking ban has been extended into Saturday, with street parking restrictions in place between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Also in Halifax on Friday, many Metro Transit bus routes are being detoured as blowing snow is making hills impossible to navigate. 

Commuters intending to take a bus or ferry today are asked to check the status of their routes on Metro Transit's website — also good advice for commuters across the rest of Atlantic Canada.

Rolling blackouts 

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.

There are no reported power outages in Nova Scotia, but there have been rolling blackouts in parts of P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Maritime Electric initiated an emergency power outage on the Island Thursday, cutting  power to some business customers in order to prevent a blackout.

The grids shut down when they reached peak loads. Newfoundland Power has asked its customers to conserve energy by lowering thermostats and not turning on Christmas lights.

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