Nova Scotia residents awoke to a winter wonderland on Saturday as a “prolonged period of snow” is expected to persist throughout the weekend and into Monday. Some areas of the province are expected to get up to 80 centimetres of snowfall.
In an Environment Canada snowfall warning issued for Central Nova Scotia, which includes the Halifax area, the weather agency noted that there will be a brief break in snowfall overnight on Saturday before intensifying again on Sunday afternoon; 20 to 30 centimetres of snow is anticipated during this period.
“The highest accumulations are expected during the day today,” the statement read, adding that the snow will be wet and heavy which could result in a strain on power lines.
Environment Canada said up to 80 centimetres of “or possibly higher” is expected in eastern mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, with 30 to 40 centimetres of snow overall in central Nova Scotia.
For most of northeastern Nova Scotia, which includes Cape Breton, visibility could be reduced to near zero during periods of heavy and blowing snow.
According to a winter storm warning issued for the area, “20 to 30 cm of snow can be expected by Sunday morning, with a further 30 to 50 cm possible by Monday morning.”
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“Conditions will deteriorate further on Sunday as winds increase and snowfall rates intensify, with blowing snow reducing visibilities.”
The snow is expected to taper to flurries throughout the day on Monday.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Public Works said that the province’s roads are currently partially or completely covered with snow with poor visibility.
“Please do not travel, unless absolutely necessary,” a social media post from the department read Saturday morning, adding that residents can visit the province’s 511 website to monitor driving conditions.
In an update from the Halifax Regional Municipality on Saturday morning, residents were asked to avoid unnecessary travel on Saturday due to poor driving conditions and to allow snow-clearing operations to continue.
All Halifax transit services, including buses, Access-A-Bus, and ferry services will cease operations as of 1:00 p.m. on Saturday for the remainder of the day.
Several businesses and public services have been impacted by the weather.
Halifax’s Museum of Natural History, the Discovery Centre, and all Halifax Public Library branches and departments closed their doors on Saturday due to the winter conditions.
The Halifax Public Gardens is closed for the day.
“Most municipal recreation facilities will be closed for the remainder of the day. A decision will be made at 7 p.m. tonight regarding opening times tomorrow,” the morning update from the municipality read.
The Halifax Regional Municipality said curbside garbage collection scheduled for Saturday had been cancelled and would return to its normal schedule on Monday, pending suitable conditions.
“Please retrieve any waste you have placed curbside so as not to interfere with snow-clearing operations,” the release said.
The release added that support is in place for those experiencing homelessness in the area, as four emergency shelters are operating throughout the community.
Emergency shelters are open at 2029 North Park St., in Halifax; 197-199 Windmill Rd., in Dartmouth; 125 Metropolitan Ave., in Lower Sackville; and 6210 Young St., at Halifax Forum’s multi-purpose centre.
“The emergency shelter at the Multi-Purpose Centre of the Halifax Forum has increased its capacity as of 4 p.m. today,” the statement read.
“The Halifax Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) team is conducting wellness checks over the weekend to assess the safety of anyone who chooses not to leave an outdoor sheltering location.”
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