High winds mixed with heavy snow and rain are battering parts of the Maritimes on Friday as a blast of winter pummels the region.

The forecast is calling for at least 30 centimetres of snow in some areas, up to 40 millimetres of rain in other places, and winds gusting to at least 90 kilometres an hour.

"We did get about 10 centimetres of snow in just a few short hours. Now, of course, that has turned slick and slushy and just in time for the rush hour traffic. So it has changed things around the region quite a bit," CTV Atlantic's Jodi Cooke reported from Moncton.

"In fact, the Confederation Bridge, the 18-kilometre long bridge that takes you into Prince Edward Island, was closed for about an hour today to high vehicles and it's actually remaining closed to trucks right now," she said Friday afternoon.

Norval McConnell of School District 2 says they made the right decision to cancel class.

"This morning at 5 o'clock, when we were in the position that a decision needed to be made, those were the conditions projected and in several of the areas of our school district, that's exactly what we're facing," he told CTV Atlantic.

In New Brunswick, all schools are closed in the area covering Fredericton, Oromocto and Woodstock.

The Fredericton-Oromocto area is expecting 10 centimetres of snow before it changes to rain and then back to snow.

The transit system in Fredericton has taken all buses off the road shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, Cooke said.

The Stanley-Doaktown area could see up to 25 centimetres of snow by late tonight.

Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island is expected to receive more than 15 centimetres of snow, before it turns to rain.

CTV Meteorologist Peter Coade says this winter storm divides the Maritimes in two.

"It's pretty much moving up the Bay of Fundy, and we're seeing mostly snow in New Brunswick and mostly rain in Prince Edward Island and in Nova Scotia," he said.

But not everyone is unhappy with the weather, like Rick Snyder.

Snyder says business at his ski shop has already improved, thanks to what he calls white gold.

"We expect a gold rush, hopefully. We see it already since Tuesday's storm -- people are in buying skis and snowshoes. Now that they can use them, they don't mind spending the money," he said.

With a report from CTV Atlantic's Jodi Cooke and files from The Canadian Press