More winter storms could be on the way
Early indications call for mixed precipitation
Winter in Cape Breton to date has been fairly quiet when it comes to snowstorms but that could soon change, according to the last readings from Environment Canada.
The transition from mild to messy began with a small storm on Monday and continued Wednesday when Cape Bretoners awoke to a slippery mixture of snow, ice pellets and finally freezing rain.
Some more slop may very well be on the way by Friday.
“It’s been fairly quiet. We went through a pretty significant stretch in January when we didn’t have a whole lot of storms but certainly the activity is picking up,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud.
“Whether we are talking about a weak little system that we saw on Monday and the system we are seeing (Wednesday) and then what we are going to see Thursday night and into Friday. It is going to get more active.”
The next storm Environment Canada is watching is developing over the mid-Atlantic states and is expected to track on a northeasterly path quite close to Nova Scotia.
“Right now the main forecasting challenge is how close is that thing going to come to the coast.”
Should that new system stay further offshore, Nova Scotia will see some significant snowfall late Thursday and into Friday.
“If it looks like it is going to come closer to the coast then there’s no question that some areas, specifically along the eastern shore and up into Cape Breton, will see some kind of a changeover or a mix to ice pellets and freezing rain and possibly even rain if it comes pretty close.”
Early indications were for mixed precipitation for Cape Breton that could also mean some blowing snow on Friday morning. Gradually improving conditions will be noticed by late Friday morning and later in the day.
“It’s a fast-moving system. Size-wise, it is not anything out of the ordinary but it will be intensifying rapidly as it tracks south of Nova Scotia.”
The low system that led to Cape Breton-wide cancellations and closures on Wednesday tracked north of the St. Lawrence River with a warm front extending over the Maritimes that led to snow, ice pellets and freezing rain.
Observations from Sydney Airport were that snow started falling at about 5 a.m. on Wednesday, bringing about six centimetres. It would later change to a mixture of ice pellets and then some freezing rain and finally rain as temperatures rose.
A better indication of the kind and amount of precipitation to impact Cape Breton on Friday will be more readily available by Thursday morning.
Andrew Carrier faced driving snow and freezing rain as he made his way up George Street in Sydney Wednesday morning. Carrier was making his way to the nearby bus stop that would take him to Cape Breton University to begin his work day.