Winter storm warnings remain in effect for Newfoundland's Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas early Friday, as heavy snow and powerful winds continue to make for dangerous conditions on the roads.
The system packed a real punch as it ramped up across the region on Thursday, prompting many schools in the St. John's area to close several hours ahead of regular dismissal time. Most schools remained closed for Friday morning as well, as schools and several municipal buildings delayed their openings until 10 a.m. The City of St. John's closed its facilities at 2 p.m. on Thursday, with Metrobus stopping services at 5 p.m.
By Thursday afternoon and early evening, impressive snowfall rates of 2-3 cm per hour were reported in St. John's, making for near impossible travel amid the quickly accumulating snow. By the early morning hours on Friday, 25 cm of snow had already been reported at St. John's International Airport, with snowfall totals continuing to climb.
The holwing winds, with gusts up to to 80 km/h, caused dangerous blizzard-like conditions into Friday morning, prompting authorities to pull snow plows from many Avalon highways "due to whiteout conditions and for the safety of plow operators." A number of travel warnings were also in effect for highways throughout the region by Thursday night. A 24-hour parking restriction began at 6 p.m. in St. John's on Thursday, in an effort to allow for easy and safe snow removal through the day on Friday. Provincial plows were back on the roads Friday morning.
@MurphTWN @NateTWN @weathernetwork @KMacTWN #ShareYourWeather. @OrangestoreNL . At the Donovan’s kenmount road North Atlantic store . #NLwx #nltraffic several vehicles had issues with wipers either coming off or completely iced over . pic.twitter.com/e64BViK0ve
— Colin Lane (@ColinLa709) January 21, 2021
By early Friday, drivers were still being urged to consider postponing any non-essential travel however, as the strong winds will continue to cause reduced visibility in blowing snow. Snow totals in some areas could officially reach 30-40 cm by the time all is said and done, making this the biggest brush with heavy snow since last year's crippling blizzard. Conditions will continue to gradually improve through the day on Friday, as the snow ends and the winds die off.
Here's a look at how Thursday's quick, but potent storm unravelled over eastern Newfoundland:
— Mark Gray 🇨🇦 (@GrayMarker99) January 22, 2021
— J Doyle (@doyle_j) January 21, 2021
— Reta 🇨🇦 (@senurrreta) January 22, 2021
— Tanya Butler (@tan4atoonie) January 22, 2021
— Gavan Watson (@gavatron) January 22, 2021
— Shannon Reardon (@ShannonR709) January 22, 2021
Lots of #nlwx snow accumulation downtown. Very little plow activity so my bet is on a delayed opening tomorrow. Make sure you stretch before you pick up that shovel in the morning! pic.twitter.com/oV4geGmYQe
— Robyn LeGrow (@rlegrow) January 22, 2021
— Earl Noble (@Noble41) January 22, 2021
Be sure to check back as we continue to monitor the active storm set-up across Atlantic Canada.
Thumbnail image courtesy: J Doyle