Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning Monday for Prince Edward Island, southeastern New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia as the storm marched toward the region.
Meteorologist Tracey Talbot said people should prepare for gusts of between 70 and 90 kilometres per hour and snowfall accumulations of 30 or more centimetres are forecast in some areas.
"It will result in a lot of blowing snow and reduced visibility," said Talbot.
Along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coastline, the snow is expected to change to ice pellets and then rain, she said.
Police in that province warned drivers to adjust for the conditions. A wind warning advisory was issued for the Confederation Bridge that connects New Brunswick and P.E.I.
Nova Scotia Power said outages would likely occur as a result of snow and ice buildup on electrical equipment and from high winds expected to blow tree branches onto power lines.
Crews will be dispatched to respond but it could take a day and in some cases longer to restore power because of the conditions or the potential of damage to the energy grid, the utility company said.
"If your power goes out it is possible that it may not be restored until Wednesday or later," the company said in a news release.
In the U.S., thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed Monday as the storm pounded the Northeast region. Schools closed early and a hospital in New York increased staff and outfitted its vehicles with snow-travelling gear.
A blizzard warning was issued for a 400-kilometre stretch of the Northeast, including New York and Boston.