Weather warnings remained in place in much of Eastern and Central Canada. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Winter storm brings snow, rain, wind and cold to Eastern, Central Canada

A powerful winter storm that brought heavy rain and snow to much of Eastern and Central Canada has closed schools, flooded streets, knocked out power and is forcing school buses to stay off the roads in Toronto today as temperatures plummet.

Weather warnings remained in place in much of the region, cautioning that Sunday’s nasty storm system could deliver a one-two punch as plunging temperatures cause slush, pooling water and any precipitation to flash freeze.

Schools in much of New Brunswick were closed today, and some offices and universities were delaying their openings following rains that left some streets in areas like Saint John submerged under ice-clogged waters.

Several Toronto school boards, including the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, decided to cancel bus service out of concerns that frigid temperatures could delay travel and put students at risk as they wait for pickup.

NB Power reported about 3,000 customers were without electricity, while Nova Scotia Power said about 34 outages were affecting just over 1,100 customers.

Environment Canada was forecasting flurries and ice pellets or freezing rain in New Brunswick this morning changing to snow in the afternoon with winds gusting to 40 km/h, and wind chill temperatures as low as minus 50 Celsius.

Wind and rainfall warnings have been posted in central Nova Scotia, while in Prince Edward Island a flash freeze warning has been issued with rain showers expected to change to flurries early in the afternoon.

Newfoundland is dealing with wind and rainfall warnings, with 20 millimetres of precipitation forecast for the south coast, along with 50 km/h winds gusting to 80 and even 100 km/h in some areas.

In Quebec and Ontario the snow has largely stopped falling, but extreme cold warnings remain in place with wind chills expected to drop to almost minus 40 in Toronto.

Montreal and Ottawa are looking at daytime highs of just minus 15 to 17 with icy wind chills as low as minus 40 where exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just minutes.

Sunday’s snow storm caused some flight cancellations at airports across the affected regions, and in Montreal they even cancelled a festival dedicated to snow.

The city said it was suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on Quebec’s roads.

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