Winter storm warning issued for P.E.I. on Friday

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 4, 2016

Wet, heavy snow and possibly freezing rain and ice pellets are on the way for Prince Edward Island on Friday.

Environment Canada has upgraded the province to a winter storm warning with things beginning in the morning and getting progressively messier as the day goes on.

Linda Libby, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said there is a possibility that the warning may not be issued for Prince County but conditions aren't expected to be much better up west.

A low pressure system is approaching the Island from the southwest and is expected to bring a mixed bag of weather to Queens and Kings counties between 8 and 9 a.m. Friday.

Libby said most of the Island is going to see snow, about 15 to 25 centimetres during the day on Friday with a further five to 10 centimetres on Friday night.

She said temperatures will begin to hover around zero for at least two-thirds of the Island, creating perfect conditions for wet, heavy snow.

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“In the Charlottetown area it isn’t really until we get to Friday afternoon that the temperature starts falling below that. Unfortunately, the wind starts picking up after that,’’ Libby said, noting winds could gust anywhere from 50 km/h to 70 km/h, out of the northeast at first, changing to north and northwest into the night.

As the temperature falls, the snow will become light and, with the wind, will move around more, creating tricky driving conditions.

Falling temperatures also create the potential for ice pellets and freezing rain from Charlottetown to East Point. Depending on the track of the weather system, that is most likely to occur between early afternoon and 8 p.m. If the track changes, it could also bring the same weather to Prince County.

“We’re looking at, as you would expect with wet snow and/or freezing rain, possible interruptions to utilities (and) problems for travel. Tree limb damage could be extensive. We’re not looking at catastrophic (damage) but there’s enough of it that we’re concerned about it.’’

Kim Griffin, corporate spokeswoman with Maritime Electric, says crews will be ready when and if needed.

Libby said drifting and blowing snow will be an issue Friday night and overnight into Saturday morning.

The good news is there are no concerns about storm surges.