12/14/2013 13:01 EST | Updated 02/13/2014 05:59 EST

Cancellations pile up ahead of big winter storm

A winter storm heading towards the Maritimes is already causing delays at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The first major blast of winter is headed toward the region and could dump 20 to 30 centimetres of snow in some areas on Sunday.

CBC meteorologist Peter Coade said the storm is expected to arrive first around Grand Mannan, Saint John and Yarmouth and then head North West.

The storm is now in southwestern parts of Massachusetts heading toward Lake Ontario. Most delays and cancellations are affecting flights to central Canada and the north eastern United States.

Halifax airport spokesman Peter Spurway said people travelling over the next couple of days should check their email because their airline may contact them.

"Airlines are getting much, much better at this. What they do is they tend to look at the schedule and look at the weather and make decisions well in advance. And advise their passengers that the flight’s not going to go so therefore you’ve been booked on this particular flight. This allows travellers to make their travel plans in advance and it also keeps people off the road to the airport,” he said.

Both Air Canada and West Jet are now offering certain travellers the chance to reschedule their flights ahead of the storm without penalty.

For people travelling by boat, Bay Ferries has cancelled its crossing between Nova Scotia and P.E.I.