1st blizzard of the season blankets eastern Newfoundland, with more wind and snow to come

The Avalon Peninsula was hampered by inclement weather on Saturday, as the area's first blizzard came through.

Burin Peninsula, Bonavista getting very strong winds, but not as much snow

The War Memorial in downtown St. John's was icy and gleaming on Saturday evening as a heavy wet snow fell and winds picked up. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Heavy, wet flakes of snow turned into wet slop as the day turned to night Saturday.

Inclement weather continues to hammer eastern Newfoundland, after Environment Canada upgraded its warnings to blizzard level.

The north and southwest parts of the Avalon Peninsula, as well as St. John's and vicinity were placed under a blizzard warning in the mid-afternoon. Winter storm warnings are still in effect for Avalon Peninsula southeast, the Bonavista and Burin peninsulas, and the Clarenville area.

Twenty-five to 35 centimetres of snow is expected to fall by early Sunday across much of the Avalon, according to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.

Some areas along the Avalon, especially along the southern shore, have seen some rain and ice mixing in, keeping amounts a little lower. 

The Burin Peninsula, Clarenville and Bonavista regions are expected to receive 15 to 25 centimetres of snow, while most of the central part of Newfoundland will receive just two to five centimetres.

The snow began as predicted by mid-morning Saturday, with the steadiest snow around noon.

Snoddon predicted snow could fall at a rate of three to more than five centimetres per hour — a prediction that appears to have come true.

Metrobus ended service at 3:30 p.m. and the Avalon Mall closed at 4 p.m.

High winds made for an even messier forecast with gusts between 70 and 100 km/hr peaking during late Saturday afternoon through to midnight. Wind gusts could reach 120 km/h along the coast of the Avalon Peninsula late Saturday.

The wintry weather is already causing headaches with commuters, with several traffic accidents reported in the greater St. John's area.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary pleaded with people to stay off the roads unless they had a dire reason to be out — and especially f they did not have appropriate tires.

Many flights through the afternoon and evening have been delayed or cancelled at St. John's and Deer Lake airports.

The CBC's Ryan Cooke took a drive through the snow on Facebook Live on Saturday evening, reaching the top of Signal Hill and helping a person push their car out of a snow drift.

Take a look below — and yes, the video does eventually turn the proper way.

With files from Ryan Snoddon, Ariana Kelland and Ryan Cooke