12/29/2012 12:42 EST | Updated 02/28/2013 05:12 EST

Winter Storm To Hit Maritimes, Could Dump 40 Centimetres Of Snow On Parts Of Nova Scotia

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HALIFAX - A "powerful" winter storm was headed to the Maritimes Saturday, with as much as 40 centimetres of snow expected to hammer parts of Nova Scotia, Environment Canada said.

Meteorologist Andy Firth said the nor'easter would bring snow, blowing snow and rain to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as southern and eastern New Brunswick.

Firth said a "swath of snow" could dump more than 40 centimetres on northern Nova Scotia and in the Annapolis Valley.

"This is a significant nor'easter storm," said Firth from Dartmouth, N.S., on Saturday. "We have warnings out for snowfall, blowing snow and storm surges."

"We look at several models but our model is indicating possibly more than 40 (centimetres of snow)."

Firth said parts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. would see around 15 to 30 centimetres of snow.

Flurries were expected to begin over the western Maritimes on Saturday evening, with heavy snow beginning around midnight and continuing until around noon Sunday.

Wind warnings were in effect for northern Nova Scotia, with gusts of 90 km/h expected Sunday morning.

Storm surge warnings had also been issued for northern Nova Scotia and along the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, where high water levels and strong winds were expected to produce pounding surf.

Firth said the low pressure system was expected to be south of Nova Scotia early Sunday and would intensify as it tracks eastward up the province's Atlantic coast toward Cape Breton.

From there, the storm was expected to sweep toward Newfoundland and Labrador, with winds gusting to about 140 km/h in western Newfoundland on Sunday afternoon.

Environment Canada said a brief band of heavy snow was forecasted to cross central and western Newfoundland Sunday, with snowfall amounts ranging from 10 to 15 centimetres.

The storm prompted Nova Scotia's Halifax Stanfield International Airport to issue a warning that flights may be delayed.

High winds on the Cabot Strait caused Marine Atlantic to delay a ferry crossing from Port Aux Basques, N.L., to North Sydney, N.S., by about three hours from 11:45 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday.

Eastern Canada had just finished cleaning up after being blasted by another winter storm late last week.

Parts of New Brunswick — including Fredericton and Gagetown — had been digging out of about 25 to 40 centimetres of snow.

That system then headed up to Newfoundland, where about 25 centimetres fell on the northeast coast and central parts of the island.

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