Update 3:30pm.. New data suggests that the storm center will track a little further west late tomorrow night into early Friday morning passing up over Moncton and along the east coast of NB. This would lean toward a slightly warmer solution for PEI resulting in a bit more rain/less snow. This track would maintain the strong winds as the “Eye” feature with lower winds in the center will stay over NB. Damaging winds are a good possibility with this storm. Prepare for widespread power outages.
Wednesday, January 3rd 7:30am.. The calm before the storm…An area of high pressure passing south of the Maritimes now will give mainly sunny skies and light winds to the island this morning, but things are about to change. An area of low pressure has developed in the south between the Bahamas and east coast of Florida. This system will intensify very rapidly as it moves NE towards the Maritimes today and tonight. The very powerful noreaster is expected to be just south of Yarmouth,NS by tomorrow evening then just north of Summerside PEI by 8 am Friday morning. This storm will bring snow, rain, very strong winds (Possibly hurricane force), and storm surge to the Maritimes. Since the expected track is right across PEI (Amherest-Summerside), all these conditions are possible. The heaviest snow will occur to the west of the track (Prince county). The snow will change over to rain briefly for areas along and to the east of the storm track (Queens/Kings county). Very Strong winds will give Blizzard conditions until the rain dampens it down for central and east but up west should remain snow. Storm surge is a good bet along and to the east of the track. Folks, this is a very powerful storm and suggest that we prepare for possible power outages. The storm pulls away into the northern Gulf on Friday allowing the winds to diminish a bit but another blast of cold arctic air will surge south. This cold wave will be the coldest air of the season so far as high pressure builds in from the west. The high will crest over the island Monday afternoon then shift east. Clouds will then begin to spread across the island in advance of the next weather system approaching. Temps will moderate considerably and expected a snow /rain situation for Tuesday.
Precipitation.. Snow should begin about noon on tomorrow changing to rain toward mid/late evening then back to snow towards dawn. West Prince may not see a change over, eastern Kings will get into the warmer air sooner and stay a bit longer hence less snow more rain down there. Snow fall amounts in the 10-15 cm range down east, 15-20 cms Charlottetown area, 20-25 Prince county and possibly 30 cms for extreme west prince. The snow should taper to flurries Friday morning then continue into Saturday and Sunday. Monday dry then snow and/or rain on Tuesday.
Temperatures.. Should climb to -9 this afternoon then hold steady into the evening. Temps will then begin to climb during the overnight hours tonight rising to near zero by noon tomorrow. Temps further climb peaking at 5 or 6 near midnight then begin to fall back dropping to zero by dawn on Friday morning and -8 by evening. The coldest air of the season will invade for Saturday with afternoon temps near -17. Even colder on Sunday with highs -20. Temps slowly moderate on Monday at -15 then back to the melting point on Tuesday.
Wind.. Light NW winds now will drop off to almost calm this afternoon then become easterly this evening. Winds will then steadily increase through the night becoming strong by early afternoon with gusts to 90-100 KMH. Wind direction will shift to the SW then west as the storm center pass by the western end of the island. The wind along exposed coastlines and areas of exposed higher terrain could see wind gusts to 100-110 KMH. tomorrow evening through dawn Friday morning. Brisk westerlies expected Saturday and Sunday dropping off to calm Monday afternoon.
Hazards.. I really don’t need to go into the hazards here. Be Hunkered down by noon tomorrow….Snowfall, blizzard conditions, Wind damage, storm surge followed by extreme cold for Saturday and Sunday.
Watches/warnings.. Winter storm warnings have been issued for PEI..
Today. Sunny, light west winds, highs -9
Tonight.. Clear, clouding over after midnight, light east winds, temps rising to -5 by dawn.
Tomorrow. Overcast.. Snow begin near noon. Very strong East winds with gusts to 100 KMH by mid afternoon, highs 0
Tomorrow night.. Snow changing to rain then back to snow before dawn, very strong SE winds shifting to West by dawn, temps rising to 5 by midnight then falling to 0 by dawn.
Friday.. Flurries, very strong west winds diminishing after lunch, temps falling to -8 by evening.
Saturday.. Flurries, brisk west winds, highs -18
Sunday.. Flurries, brisk west winds, highs -20
Monday.. Sunny, increasing clouds, late, -15
Tuesday.. Snow/rain 0