A blizzard in eastern Newfoundland has much of St. John’s hunkering down for the day, bracing against an onslaught of severe weather, including heavy snow and strong winds.

A blizzard in eastern Newfoundland has much of St. John’s hunkering down for the day, bracing against an onslaught of severe weather, including heavy snow and strong winds.
More than 75 centimetres of snow are expected to fall on the Avalon Peninsula by Friday night, while winds are expected to gust to as high as 150 km/h in coastal areas.
Environment Canada has a blizzard warning in effect for much of eastern Newfoundland, as well as the Bay of Exploits and the Bonavista Peninsula on the north coast.
“This is gonna be a bad storm,” says Mike Vandenberg, meteorologist at the Environment Canada weather office in Gander, N.L.
As I make frequent trips to the coffee maker today, I’ll probably try to post a little video each time of the storm progression. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#nlwx</a> <a href=”https://t.co/RuarsodzRG”>pic.twitter.com/RuarsodzRG</a>
Vandenberg said snowfall rates of possibly more than five centimetres an hour are possible through the day.
“Visibility is expected to stay pretty bad with a lot of snow blowing around for the next 36 hours or so.”
The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District has closed a slew of schools in the eastern and central regions, while Memorial University, the Marine Institute and the College of the North Atlantic are also shut for the day.
Metrobus has cancelled its public transit service and most flights are cancelled at St. John’s International Airport.
It’s coming in hard here in Trepassey. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/IrishLoop?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#IrishLoop</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#nlwx</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Snowpocalypse2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Snowpocalypse2020</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/snowday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#snowday</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/newfoundlandandlabrador?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#newfoundlandandlabrador</a> <a href=”https://t.co/lPw0gRjvh1″>pic.twitter.com/lPw0gRjvh1</a>
The Marine Atlantic ferry service has cancelled its morning crossings between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L.
Vandenberg said that with winds gusting so high, he would not be surprised if there were some power outages by Friday night.
With that wind, total snowfall amounts will be “impossible to tell,” he said, with large drifts expected in some areas.
Vandenberg said it could take a couple of days for St. John’s to fully dig out.
Storm, what storm? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#nlwx</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/townies?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#townies</a> <a href=”https://t.co/5E3DnsvRQg”>pic.twitter.com/5E3DnsvRQg</a>
Winds picked up early Friday morning and snow started falling around 4:30 a.m. The strongest wind gusts will come in the evening.
The blizzard conditions are expected to persist into Saturday afternoon.
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said the track of the storm will make snow clearing a challenge, as winds will continue to blow snow onto roads while crews try to clear priority routes.
Snow started early this morning and will continue to get worse through the day. Here’s what to expect in the St. John’s &amp; Metro area. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#nlwx</a> <a href=”https://t.co/dtUQy1Ma0m”>pic.twitter.com/dtUQy1Ma0m</a>
“The problem with the volume of snow that we’re getting and the rate that it will fall is that once we get through priority one, we may get partway through the priority two streets, and we’ll have to go back and start the priority ones again,” Breen said.
“And the high winds certainly make that even more of a challenge.”
All of the city’s crews are out trying to keep roads open, Breen said, but it will take time to get roads and sidewalks cleared as the storm rages.
The province has issued a public advisory, citing the possibility of “poor to near zero visibility,” and warning of possible coastal flooding and elevated water levels. People are being asked to stay home if possible.
The view from Elizabeth Avenue. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#nlwx</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Y76NxD4Tte”>pic.twitter.com/Y76NxD4Tte</a>
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