System could bring lots of snow and wind to P.E.I. Monday and Tuesday

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 17, 2016

Environment Canada is keeping a close eye on a system approaching the Maritimes that could pack a punch on Monday and Tuesday.

It has the potential to develop into a Nor’easter.

Meteorologist Linda Libby said it’s too early to start talking snowfall totals.

Depending on the track this thing takes, P.E.I. could be looking at 5-10 centimetres or more than 20 centimetres. It’s all guesswork at this point.

It’s likely to start as snow for just about all areas of the province on Monday. That snow could change over to rain and/or freezing rain.

Libby said the Canadian model expects it to start as snow and switch over to rain and ice pellets, except in Prince County where it could stay as snow.

She was confident in saying that strong winds will be a factor everywhere on Monday and into Tuesday.

Winds will gust to 60 km/h to start, increasing to gusts in excess of 90 km/h out of the east and southeast, diminishing to gusts of 80 km/h by Tuesday morning and down to 65-75 km/h by Tuesday night.

“We’re looking at two days worth of strong winds,’’ Libby said. “The winds will persist. It’s going to be a late winter storm . . . but it’s not clear whether it will be a nor’easter.’’

Those winds, combined with whatever snow falls, will make travelling tricky.

It’s still quite a contrast to a year ago when people were digging out of a St. Patrick’s Day storm that battered the province. People posted pictures of the aftermath on social media on Thursday.

Libby said she strongly advises people to keep track of the forecast through the weekend so no one is caught off guard.

“It’s going to be a big one. Despite what the calendar says, winter hasn’t given up yet.’’

As for The Weather Network, meteorologist Ross Giarratana said on the network’s website on Thursday that even though the track could change “we feel pretty confident that this system is going to bring a lot of snow.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart