HALIFAX -- A major snowstorm is bearing down on Atlantic Canada today, prompting dozens of flight cancellations and knocking out power for thousands in western Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Environment Canada has issued blizzard warnings for Nova Scotia and much of eastern New Brunswick, with 30 to 40 centimetres of snow expected in some regions by Sunday morning.

The national forecaster says the blizzard conditions -- the product of two fierce snowstorms that are combining -- will also bring 20 to 30 centimetres of snow to Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland is also expecting a blanket of snow -- up to 45 centimetres by Sunday night.

Nova Scotia Power says 21,000 customers are without electricity in the province's Annapolis Valley and on the South Shore, where forecasters have warned that higher than normal water levels could cause flooding.

New Brunswick Power says on its website that roughly 1,100 customers, most of them in the Rothesay area, are without power.

Most of today's flights have been cancelled at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and all Marine Atlantic crossings have been cancelled.

Few cars could be seen on the roads in downtown Halifax Saturday morning as blowing snow whipped through the streets, creating near white-out conditions.

A storm hit southern Ontario and Quebec on Friday, leading to at least three Ontario deaths -- two on the roads and an 80-year-old woman who was shovelling her driveway.

Another storm has hammered the northeastern United States, where half a million homes and businesses are without power after half a metre of snow fell in Connecticut.