POLITICS

Relief in sight for storm-battered Maritimes: Environment Canada

03/22/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 05/21/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - People in the snow-battered Maritimes can put away their shovels for at least a week as a lull in heavy snowfall is expected, Environment Canada said Sunday as yet another storm whipped through the region.

Sunday's spring storm was the latest in what has been a seemingly endless series of winter blasts in the Maritime provinces. But meteorologist Jean-Marc Couturier said temperatures were expected to rise above the freezing mark by the end of this week.

"It will still be a couple of degrees shy of normal, but it will be a welcome break based on what we've been experiencing for the past few weeks," said Couturier.

Couturier says temperatures are expected to drop to around -25 C with the wind chill in parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on Monday, but it will warm up to around 5 C or 8 C by Saturday.

"On Wednesday and Thursday we'll start seeing more of a southwesterly wind and that will inject some milder air across the region, likely reaching the freezing mark on Wednesday and surpassing it on Thursday, Friday and Saturday," said Couturier.

"There will be some snow beginning to melt during that period."

He said the region could see some precipitation this weekend, but that will likely be in the form of rain.

"Much of the precipitation would be coming with the warm air so it will likely come as showers. There's no indication at this point that we would see any large snowfall amounts," he said.

Snowfall warnings were in effect Sunday for parts of eastern New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and western Prince Edward Island, where up to 25 centimetres was expected to fall by Sunday evening.

RCMP in P.E.I. said whiteout driving conditions caused multiple accidents, stranded drivers and forced the province's Transportation Department to pull plows off of some roads as a safety precaution. A number of roads were also closed.

The Confederation Bridge between P.E.I. and New Brunswick was shut down as flights at the Charlottetown International Airport experienced delays and cancellations.

The Mounties in Nova Scotia were also warning drivers of dangerous driving conditions throughout the province.

Although Halifax wasn't hit with the latest snowfall, the city was still trying to clear narrow snow-choked streets after last week's two significant storms, prompting a number of street closures over the weekend to help with snow removal efforts.

The city was warning of a slow commute on Monday as people return fom March Break. The Halifax Regional School Board said late Sunday that all schools would be closed on Monday. A city-wide on-street parking ban was continuing into Monday.

Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador was bracing for strong winds and blowing snow on the south coast of Newfoundland overnight Sunday and into Monday, with winds expected to gust up to 100 kilometres and hour.

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