It’s the first day of winter and a winter storm is battering Quebec, Ontario and the Mid-Atlantic United States causing treacherous travelling conditions.

About 1,000 flights have been cancelled, mostly out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport and in the Midwest. Dozens of flights are cancelled and delayed at Pearson International in Toronto.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is preparing for a domino effect.

“It just shakes the whole system,” spokesperson Peter Spurway told the Rick Howe Show Thursday as the storm was moving over central Canada. “Everything is inter-related. Everything is inter-dependent. It can be a real challenge for schedulers at various airlines to manage their way through a weather event, and then the recovery.”

Spurway said under these circumstances airlines will either add flights or send larger aircraft to help stranded passengers get to their destinations before Christmas.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest travel days before Christmas for airports.

People travelling on the roads are not spared the hampering weather.

Environment Canada has Nova Scotia under a rainfall warning. Halifax is expecting about 20 millimeters of rain starting tonight with winds gusting up to 80 kilometers per hour.

“Driving is not going to be good,” said News 95.7 meteorologist Richard Zurawski. “You’re going to be putting up with snow and freezing rain. Basically hydroplaning, reduced visibility and of course it’s always difficult to stay on the road when winds are gusting to 80 km/h.”

Zurawski says the storm will hit Nova Scotia this evening and last through Saturday.