A “major” snowstorm alert issued: People are warned to avoid unnecessary travels

Published: 09:50 GMT, Dec 17, 2017 |

A meteorologist with Environment Canada says the first “major” snowstorm of the season in Newfoundland and Labrador has covered part of the province in a thick layer of snow.

Rodney Barney said blizzard and winter storm warnings have been issued in parts of the Avalon Peninsula and around St. John’s, with forecasts predicting between 30 and 40 centimetres of snowfall in some areas.

Barney said he expects winds to intensify through Saturday evening, gusting in excess of 100 km/h in some areas, bringing blowing snow and near-zero visibility.

Drivers have been encouraged to avoid non-essential travel until conditions improve.

“It is the first significant snowstorm for the island,” Barney said in a phone interview. “It is especially impactful considering the time of year and all the travel that’s going on right now.”

The Clarenville area, Burin Peninsula and Bonavista Peninsula are forecasted to see around 20 centimetres of snowfall, according to Environment Canada.

Barney said the low-pressure system will “rapidly intensify” as it makes its way across the region on Saturday, before tapering off around midnight.

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