03/25/2014 07:26 EDT | Updated 05/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Atlantic Canada braces for spring blizzard

A nasty spring weather bomb has its sights set on Atlantic Canada on Wednesday.

An intense low-pressure system has blanketed much of Canada's east coast with blizzard and wind warnings. There are also storm surge warnings for Nova Scotia's southern coast.

The nor'easter is expected to make its way up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Travellers should prepare for cancellations as whiteout conditions are expected through much of the East Coast. High winds are also likely to knock out power and make driving very difficult.

CBC meteorologist Peter Coade said the worst of the storm is expected to start in Halifax around 7 a.m. AT Wednesday as it moves northeast. Southern New Brunswick should expect things to start getting nasty around 10 a.m., with Prince Edward Island being hit around 12 p.m. before the storm heads toward Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The centre of the storm is expected over Newfoundland by daybreak on Thursday.

In Nova Scotia, Environment Canada is warning that blizzard conditions will reduce visibility on the roads down to near zero on Wednesday as winds gusting up to 110 km/h howl through the province. Parts of Cape Breton are under a Les Suêtes wind warning with gusts up to 160 km/h expected late Wednesday afternoon.

The southwestern part of the province is expected to receive between 40 to 50 centimetres of snow, with 30 to 40 centimetres expected for the rest of Nova Scotia. The snow may briefly change to rain mixed with snow Wednesday afternoon before changing back to snow in the evening.

It's a good idea to stay away from the coast in Nova Scotia as Environment Canada warns high water levels and storm surges may cause localized flooding in Halifax, Guysborough, Lunenburg and Shelburne counties, as well as along the Northumberland Strait.

Prince Edward Island is under a blizzard warning with strong winds gusting up to 100 km/h and as much as 30 to 40 centimetres of snow expected across much of the Island Wednesday. 

In New Brunswick, the southeastern part of the province is blanketed in blizzard warnings with between 15 and 40 centimetres expected. Blowing snow is expected to make travelling very difficult. Also, higher than normal water levels are forecast from Miramichi Bay south to Cape Tormentine on Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday evening. 

The storm is expected to taper off in the Maritimes Wednesday evening before moving toward Newfoundland and Labrador.