Strong Noreaster takes aim at PEI today.

Thursday, January 4th 9:00am.. An intensifying storm located just east of Cape Hatteras NC will track rapidly NE today moving into the Maritimes vicinity Yarmouth near midnight tonight then continue NNE across Prince county PEI or eastern NB near sunrise tomorrow then into the western Gulf tomorrow afternoon. This system will bring a mixture of snow/rain/wind/blowing and drifting snow/storm surge to the island. The snow should begin just prior to noon, the winds will gradually pick up throughout the day peaking this evening and overnight hours. The snow should change over to rain  this evening then back to snow before dawn tomorrow then taper to flurries near noon. Another blast of cold arctic air then floods back in over the Maritimes for the weekend as the storm pulls away. A ridge of high pressure then crests over the island Sunday night. Things get interesting again on Monday as another 2 systems approach. The first one tracks across the island overnight Monday into Tuesday morning with some light snow. A second system approaches from the SW and should pass south of the region on Tuesday night into Wednesday. The jury is still out on how close the second system will be but there may nit be any break in the snow between both systems. Also there will be warm air associated which may allow for a change over to rain for eastern PEI during the day on Tuesday. At any rate, both these system pull away for Wednesday allowing for a ridge of high pressure to build in. Another shot of snow on Thursday as a weak frontal system passes by to our north.

Precipitation.. Snow is spreading into extreme southern NS now and will quickly spread north moving into PEI late this morning. The snow should change over to rain early this evening then back to snow near dawn tomorrow. Western PEI will stay colder longer so those folks should see more snow. Amounts range from 15 cms Kings county, 20-25 cms for Queens and 25-35 cms for Prince county. Rainfall amounts in the 10mm range. As mentioned, the snow should taper to flurries near noon tomorrow. Flurries expected for the remainder of Friday and Saturday. Snow begins again late Monday night and continues through Tuesday. Wednesday dry. More light snow on Thursday.

Temperatures.. Should climb above zero late tonight then fall below zero near dawn tomorrow. The warmest reading will be down east. Another blast of very cold air will return for Saturday Sunday and Monday. Warm-up for Tuesday.

Wind.. Light SE winds now will begin to increase today with a prolonged period of very strong winds from suppertime today through noon tomorrow with the wind direction shifting from east to south near midnight tonight then SW after sunrise tomorrow. Strong SW winds will slowly diminish later tomorrow but remain brisk-strong through Saturday then light-brisk Sunday.

Hazards.. All the hazards associated with a winter storm. In addition, storm surge is possible along the coast. Ice cover in the strait should limit wave action on the south shore. Any rain should dampen down the blowing snow later today. Anticipate Confederation bridge restrictions or closures beginning this afternoon and lasting into tomorrow. Anticipate power outages..

Watches/warnings.. Winter storm warnings remain in effect for all of PEI.

Forecast..

Today. Snow beginning near noon, increasing E-SE winds with gusts to 80-90 by suppertime giving extensive blowing and drifting snow, highs 0

Tonight.. Snow changing to rain this evening then back to snow towards dawn, very strong South winds with gusts to 90-100 KMH, highs 5

Tomorrow.. Snow tapers to flurries near noon, strong SW winds, temps near 2 falling to -2 by suppertime.

Saturday.. Cloudy periods, flurrie, brisk SW winds, temps falling to -15 by afternoon.

Sunday.. Sunny, few clouds chance of a flurrie, Brisk west winds, highs -17

Monday.. Sunny start, increasing clouds, snow late. -12

Tuesday.. Snow, 0

Wednesday.. Sunny, falling temps through the afternoon. -14 by late evening.

Thursday.. Snow

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