Severe Winter Weather Warnings

Severe Winter WeatherSevere Winter Weather

I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, on the East Coast. Our upcoming severe winter weather is a taste of what we experience and why we need to be prepared. Invariably, when the wind comes up, we lose our electricity (wires are still all on poles).

Strong Winds – Snow Squalls – Severe Cold

Alerts for: Queens County P.E.I.


10:01 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016

Wind warning in effect for:

Queens County P.E.I.

Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.

Northwest winds will gust to 90 km/h overnight Thursday night and Friday. These winds will be accompanied by very cold temperatures, flurries and blowing snow over exposed areas. There is also the possibility of snow squalls giving near zero visibilities in blowing snow.

Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.

Wind warnings are issued when there is a significant risk of damaging winds.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #PEStorm.


10:04 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016

Snow squall watch in effect for:

Queens County P.E.I.

Snow squalls are expected to develop. Under the snow squall bands, visibilities will be significantly reduced due to the heavy snow combined with blowing snow, and snow will quickly accumulate.

Very strong northwest winds coming across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait will give flurries at times heavy and reduced visibilities in blowing snow. There is also the potential for the development of snow squalls occasionally giving near zero visibilities in blowing snow and significant accumulation of snow.

Visibility may be significantly and suddenly reduced to near zero.

Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.*

Snow squall watches are issued when conditions are favorable for the formation of bands of snow that could produce intense accumulating snow or near zero visibilities.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #PEStorm.


10:02 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016

Special weather statement in effect for:

Queens County P.E.I.

Very cold air and strong northwesterly winds overnight Thursday night and Friday morning will cause temperatures to drop to minus 15 to minus 20. Wind chill values Friday morning will be near minus 30 giving significant risk of frostbite.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #PEStorm.

*Emergency Kits

In an emergency (severe winter weather), you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

You may have some of the items already, such as food, water and a battery-operated or wind-up flashlight (and/or radio). The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. If you have many people in your household, your emergency kit could get heavy.

It’s a good idea to separate some of these supplies in backpacks. That way, your kit will be more portable and each person can personalize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.

More information

Get an emergency kit!

Emergency car kit

Where to buy an emergency kit

Preparing a Family Emergency Kit

It’s your responsibility to start gathering supplies and start thinking about what your family will need for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

I’m originally from another town, in another province, and we had severe winters there as well. I can remember traveling with my Mom, losing control of the car, and ending up in a snow bank and not able to get out of the car. That was pretty scary.

With age, I’ve begun to dislike winter. If we could just get a bit of white fluffy stuff and people could stay safe and not have car accidents or lose their power or have their houses burn down because they’re trying to keep warm with wood heat. Severe winter weather is something I have to deal with because this is where I live, but I make sure I have plenty of water on hand and food that doesn’t need cooking, oh and plenty of blankets too. I also don’t venture from home. I don’t need to add to the risk factors on the road.



I’m so not looking forward to this. But it is what it is. I haven’t been out since Monday morning. I’ll be shack wacky soon!

Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

I used to live on a block that lost power at least once a month. So, the practice was to have a flashlight in each bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room, and the family room. (Along with other supplies in the basement.
Even now, where I have not (thank the Supreme Being) lost power for a period beyond 1 minute at a clip, and only 4 losses at all) over three years, there are still flashlights in the kitchen, family room, and bedrooms. Plus a supply of items in the basement.


We have flashlights and batteries everywhere too, Roy. Plus water and food that can be eaten without being cooked. Not my favorite time of the year.

Susan Landry

Valuable reminder! I live in Minnesota, so winter storms are definitely a risk (even this upcoming weekend!). Aside from storms, just having a car emergency kit can be a life saver in the cold weather.


This was very informative. I’m going to move to Canada in about 2 weeks. I guess winter in Toronto is not as bad as it is on Prince Edward Island. But coming from a place where we have maybe 5 days of snow in a year and it’s usually never more than about 5 cm of snow, I’ll have to learn how to live with the cold weather and drive when it’s snowing. I didn’t even think about an emergency kit, but I’ll definitely have one in my car.


Hey Sarah. You should keep track of the weather in the Toronto area. It’s been almost as bad there as it has here. My son-in-law had surgery on Tuesday and had to travel to Toronto a day early to avoid getting caught in an upcoming winter storm. And yes, and emergency kit in your car is very advisable.


I leave on the other edge of the world, the winter is never so severe here (Hungary). I can’t imagine such a winter weather but sounds dangerous. I understand why you wanted to be prepared and absolutely agree with you – would rather be safe than sorry.


Yes, it’s pretty bad here today. It’s so windy and the snow is drifting so much that the snow plows have been taken off the roads.

Elizabeth Ann

These are great tips! I live in Florida. So while everyone has been getting snow/cold weather the past couple of weeks I have had 70 degree weather. Although, when we have hurricanes our emergency kits are similar. We always have plenty of water and non perishable food. The blankets we don’t really need. Stay safe!


The irony of our weather is that right now it’s snowing lightly and is very pretty – but it’s supposed to be raining by morning and rain all day tomorrow. The Island pretty much shut down yesterday with police warnings because there were people who wouldn’t listen or use common sense. People off the roads, stuck or in accidents. It was drifting severely and snowing a lot… some mother’s children.

By the way, yes, it is beautiful here in summer. We have some of the best beaches in Canada and a big tourist population.

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