Producers from Atlantic Canada are making final preparations for a winter storm dubbed a “weather bomb,” expected to hit the Maritimes today.
A “weather bomb” is a storm that “features a drop in central pressure of 24 millibars (of pressure) over the course of 24 hours,” according to The Weather Network.
Beginning today, the storm will bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain, high winds and blizzard-like conditions. The storm is expected to last until Friday afternoon.
The storm hasn’t hit New Brunswick yet, where forecasted snowfall could range between 25 and 35 cm, and winds could exceed 100 mph.
So farmers are using the calm before the storm to make any final preparations.
“There’s no snow right now, but outside looks ready for the snow to start,” Kenny Graham, a dairy and grain producer from Good Corner, N.B., told Farms.com today. “The snow isn’t so bad because we can push it around, but the winds could be devastating.”
Graham’s farm includes a 105-head dairy herd. Most of the prep is being done to ensure the cows the milk can be looked after.
“We’re mixing feed for a couple of days since the power might be out for a few days,” he said. “And we’re getting the generators ready so that the cows can still be milked. We have on-farm storage. So if the milk truck can’t come tomorrow, we should be okay until Saturday. Any longer and we may have to dump some milk.”
Further east, farmers in Nova Scotia could experience snowfalls of up to 20 cm and wind speeds of up to 100 mph. Some areas in the province are already experiencing heavy rains.
“We’re on an island right near the ocean and the rain has started,” said Evelyn Ernst, who farms 12 acres of cranberries in Lunenburg, N.S. “But we also have a processing business that employs 25 people and runs year-round. We may or may not be able to run tomorrow depending on the situation here.”
Between 15 and 20 cm of snow is forecasted to fall in Prince Edward Island, and parts of Newfoundland could see 20 to 30 cm of snow and wind gusts of 105 mph.