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A pedestrian braves the elements in Halifax on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

A strong winter storm closed schools, cancelled flights and shuttered some businesses in Atlantic Canada today.

Classes were cancelled in Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and parts of Newfoundland and Labrador after a powerful system brought snow and gusty winds to the region.

Environment Canada was forecasting about 20 to 25 centimetres of snow in central Newfoundland, while eastern areas could gets close to 20 cm followed by heavy rain and winds gusting to 80 km/h.

The weather agency says the storm will intensify throughout the day in P.E.I., and bring upwards of 15 cm of snow.

Drivers in Nova Scotia were being cautioned about treacherous conditions and whiteouts, with up to 25 cm of snow, wind and freezing rain in the forecast.

Flights at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport were being cancelled and ferry crossings to Newfoundland were either being cancelled or delayed.