© Guardian file photo by Brian McInnis
Forecasters are comparing Wednesday's blizzard with white Juan, which hit Prince Edward Island in February 2004. This is what Charlottetown looked like after Juan hit Prince Edward Island with 80 centimetres of snow.
Atlantic Canada is bracing for a spring storm that could dump more than a foot of snow, bring wind gusts of more than 100 kilometres per hour and storm surges that could damage docks and coastal properties.
The snow is forecast to begin late Wednesday morning over Prince Edward Island and become heavy at times during the afternoon and evening before tapering off after midnight.
Northeast winds will steadily increase during the day and will gust up to 110 kilometres per hour Wednesday evening.
Environment Canada forecaster Tracey Talbot said the possibility of damage is real because a storm surge will bring rising waters along the coastlines — in some cases 50 to 80 centimetres higher than normal, with strong waves driving the sea into shore.
“That is definitely something we have to keep an eye on, especially if it coincides with high tides,” Talbot said Tuesday.
“With the storm surge we’re expecting, we could see some flooding and some local infrastructure damage.”
Up to 40 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southern New Brunswick, she said.
Prince Edward Island is expected to see particularly powerful gusts, with winds expected to reach 110 km/hr. The province’s Office of Public Safety is advising Islanders to prepare for the possibility of power disruptions.
“Snow and ice buildup on tree branches, rooftops and utility lines can lead to dangerous conditions with breaking branches, downed utility lines and possibly power outages,” the office said in a news release.