Canada's "winter from hell" is nasty, brutish and will not be short, according to a senior climatologist at Environment Canada who said spring weather is still a distant dream for most parts of the country.

From freezing drizzle, to snow and ice pellets, Central and Eastern Canada faced a buffet of bad weather Wednesday as a storm centred over New England worked its way into the Maritimes, prompting Environment Canada to issue a series of winter storm warnings.

The blizzard conditions led to a one-day delay in the repatriation ceremony in Trenton Ont. for Canada's most recently fallen soldier, the military said.

The ceremony for Trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze, 25, of the Edmonton-based Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), was postponed until today at 2 p.m. ET.

The winter wallop left between 15 and 20 centimetres of snow on the ground in Windsor, Ont. and Toronto though the sun came out midday reducing roads to slush while revealing lots of potholes.

The City of Toronto said it has fixed more than 8,000 potholes in the past 10 days.

A CN freight train derailed in Brampton, Ont., early Wednesday, causing more headaches on the already snowed-in commute. A_total of 16 cars in the westbound CN freight train were derailed. No one was injured, however commuters experienced delays for several hours.

The storm also dumped more than 25 cm on Ottawa putting this winter in second place for all-time snowfall for the city. The total snowfall in Montreal this season, measured from Sept. 1, is 296 centimetres. The record set in 1970-71 is 383 cm.

Many flights across Ontario and Quebec were delayed or cancelled and blowing snow gusts of more than 50 km/h made driving treacherous and prompted the closure of schools.

"Compared to last winter which only lasted six weeks, this one feels like six months, said David Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada. "There has been a lot of national weather misery out there. No one in Canada has escaped it."

Quebec City passed the 400 cm mark of snow on the ground just as it is celebrating its 400th anniversary.

Organizers of the anniversary took pride in this nod and said it is a sign that Quebec City is a winter capital. A total of 410 cm of snow have fallen on the city this winter and it is only 47 centimetres away from an all-time snowfall record.

The March break in Quebec is credited with reducing the volume of commuter traffic.

Plows and salt trucks were on the roads, keeping most of the major roads relatively clear for the morning commute, although secondary roads and streets in residential areas were axle-deep and difficult to navigate.

Parts of Atlantic Canada woke up to yet another day of freezing rain and snow that left roads slick and salt supplies tight.

Moncton, N.B. is in "conservation mode" and is mixing salt with sand following a season where public works crews have been out every two or three days, a spokesperson said.

In Halifax the streets were passable but sidewalks "terrible" as the weather moved from snow, to freezing rain, then rain.

"It is our cycle," said John O'Brien a spokesman for the city of Halifax. "We plow, then salt. But then the rain takes away the salt so you have to go out and salt again."

O'Brien said while the roads are clear the city is over its $13 million snow budget by 50 per cent.

Though a respite is expected in parts of Ontario Wednesday, another winter storm moving up from the United States will most likely hit southern Ontario by Friday morning and by Saturday, Quebec and Atlantic Canada will face more freezing rain and snow.

"There will be just enough time to clean it up and shovel the snow away before another storm moves in by the weekend," said Phillips.

Unlike the "six-week winter," of 2007 Phillips said this year's "national weather misery" will continue with Environment Canada's spring forecast calling for more winter than warmth.

"Across Canada, the month of March will be cold, cold, cold." Phillips said. "Don't put away the parka or snow shovel just yet. There is more winter in the air."