Islanders can expect a heap of snow, along with sleet, through Friday and into Saturday morning.

“It’s a slow-moving system. It’s a very different type of storm system than the previous three,” CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said. “It’s a very large frontal border.”

This means that it will not be as intense in terms of wind or precipitation rate, but it will bring consistent precipitation for the duration of the storm.

“It’s going to keep piling up,” he said.

“While the greatest risk is in Nova Scotia, freezing rain is still possible here on Prince Edward Island for southeastern areas. Snow and sleet will begin to ease this evening. until Saturday, but persistent showers and blowing snow could be a problem until Saturday morning for exposed areas.”

The snow is piling up in Charlottetown and will only get bigger as it falls in this first February storm of the year. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Scotland is forecasting quantities of between 25 and 50 centimeters across the province. At 2 p.m. AT, the Charlottetown airport was reporting an accumulation of 23 centimeters.

“Snowy roads are the big concern,” he said, adding that power outages are also possible.

Southern areas of Queens and Kings counties will see more sleet mixing with snow, beginning Friday morning. This will mean less snow in these areas.

The wind will not be as strong as previous winter storms this year. It will come from the northeast at 30 km/h with gusts at 50 km/h on Friday morning.

“It may not be as windy as our last storms, but this slow frontal boundary more than makes up for that with heavy rainfall,” Scotland said.

Snowplow dispatchers said the equipment was on all major roads as of noon and reported that the roads were covered in snow with drift, but visibility was good.

Lots of cancellations

Cancellations began early Friday morning.

The children of the island enjoy a long weekend thanks to Mother Nature.

The Public Schools Branch and the French Language School Board canceled the school. UPEI and Holland College also canceled on-campus classes for the day. Online classes can proceed as normal.

Getting around was not easy for those who had to go out on Friday morning. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Canada Post has issued what it calls a “delivery service red alert” for the province, meaning there will be no mail delivery due to freezing rain.

“Delivery will resume once conditions improve and it is safe for you to do so,” Canada Post said in the alert.

The provincial government closed all of its offices for the day, along with all COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics across the island.

Crews were starting snow removal early on Friday. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

All is quiet at the Charlottetown airport, where flight cancellations came early. No flights will be inbound or outbound until at least tomorrow.

“Hopefully by tomorrow night, we’ll be back on track,” Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson said. “This is the fourth weekend of the last five that we’ve had weather-impacting flights.”

Newson said airlines are considering adding additional flights to reduce the backlog, so travelers should check for new bookings.

Island Waste Management canceled garbage collection and rescheduled to Saturday. Service Canada closed its offices and Transit PEI and the County Line Express canceled their trips for the day. T3 operates in Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall, but people should check online for updates.