Islanders should be getting ready for an upcoming winter storm that could bring power outages and hazardous driving conditions across the province, says Environment Canada.
The weather agency has issued a winter storm warning for all of P.E.I., with an intense low pressure system expected to bring up to 15 cm of snow and strong winds to the province Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
Environment Canada said the combination will likely create poor visibility, drifting and power outages, while Public Safety Canada has encouraged Islanders to have an emergency plan and kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and flashlight.
“In the wintertime, it’s always good to have something in case you lose power or anything like that. You need at least three days’ worth of supplies,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Ming Szeto.
Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.
This system is expected to intensify as it tracks towards the Maritimes and will reach P.E.I. late afternoon or early Tuesday evening.
“In the wintertime, it’s always good to have something in case you lose power or anything like that. You need at least three days’ worth of supplies."
Szeto said the province could see five to 10 cm of snow by the end of Tuesday.
He’s also expecting the snow to combine with east to northeasterly winds that could gust in excess of 90 km/h.
“The combination of snow and strong winds could produce blowing snow, which could make things quite messy (Tuesday) night,” said Szeto, who added the strong winds may persist throughout Wednesday.
“Depending on how the system develops, we may have to issue a wind warning (Tuesday) night and continue it into Wednesday.”
Early Wednesday will see likely see the snow briefly change over to rain, especially in eastern P.E.I., before changing back to snow.
Szeto said while it’s too far out to predict the total snowfall of the storm, Environment Canada has stated it could exceed 15 cm.
“The western side (of P.E.I.) will likely see more snow. There’s a lot of things that could change by then, so it’s hard to say exactly how much snow we’ll get Wednesday,” said Szeto, who advised Islanders to monitor Environment Canada’s forecast and warnings. “This system is still developing and things could change.”
Those seeking more information on emergency plans and kits can visit www.getprepared.gc.ca, while those wishing to report severe weather can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet reports using #PEStorm.