Environment Canada extended its latest wind warnings to cover large chunks of Atlantic Canada on Thursday as a so-called weather bomb marched across the region.
Forecasters say potentially damaging winds reaching 100 kilometres per hour or more were expected in almost every county of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, northern New Brunswick and the west and north coasts of Newfoundland.
In Prince Edward Island, the warnings have been increased to 110 kilometres per hour.
"Any time you get winds of this magnitude — gusting to 100 — usually you can see some small trees that may get toppled over or branches that fall off or shingles that may lift up," said Environment Canada meteorologist Mel Lemmon.
"We're seeing some stronger gusts than we originally forecast. That's partly because it's a weather bomb, and partly because of the cold air that's going to push in behind it."
The intensifying low-pressure system is defined as a weather bomb because the barometric pressure within the centre of the storm is expected to drop more than 24 millibars in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the stronger the gusts, Mr. Lemmon said.
Winds gusting as high as 110 kilometres per hour were forecast from Margaree Harbour to the Bay St. Lawrence area of Cape Breton.
A snowfall warning was in effect for northern New Brunswick, where 10 to 20 centimetres of snow was in the forecast. Winter storm warnings have been posted for coastal Labrador.
Delays were being reported at some airports and the Marine Atlantic ferry service delayed all crossings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Power outages were reported across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Nova Scotia Power said more than 14,000 of its customers were without power. Most of the outages were in the Bedford-Sackville area north of Halifax, but other outages were reported in Shelburne, Liverpool, Amherst, New Glasgow, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney.
NB Power said 2,200 customers were without power in more than a dozen communities, including Fredericton and Moncton.
Strong westerly winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour were expected along the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Environment Canada also says the strong winds could produce pounding surf along the west coast of Cape Breton.
In Newfoundland, wind warnings were issued for the island's southwest coast, where southeasterly winds could hit 140 kilometres per hour. Wind warnings have also been issued for the Northern Peninsula and Newfoundland's north coast.