Storm setting its sights on most of Newfoundland

Snow squall warnings are in effect for the west coast Friday, while Environment Canada warns of a winter storm heading our way for Saturday.
It looks like it will be a blustery start to the weekend, as winter rears its head for another storm across Newfoundland. (Submitted by Brittany Piłgrim)

It was nice while it lasted, but mild weather for parts of Newfoundland will likely be over this weekend as a winter storm heads toward the island, and snow squall conditions persisted on Friday on the west coast.

Environment Canada issued weather warnings for the Northern Peninsula and west coast down through Bay St. George Friday.

Near zero visibility and blowing snow conditions are expected to continue Friday evening with snowfall amounts expected near 15 centimetres. Conditions are expected to improve overnight Friday.

The Department of Transportation and Works advised motorists to stay off Route 430 from Plum Point to St. Anthony in whiteout conditions as of Friday afternoon. The department also warned drivers to avoid Route 430 from Plum Point through Roddickton to the St. Anthony Airport due to similar conditions.

Highways all along the Northern Peninsula were reported as snow covered and slippery with heavy drifting in some areas on Friday afternoon.

Stormy Saturday

Meanwhile, Environment Canada is warning of a winter storm right across the island for Saturday.

The island is painted red with winter storm, rainfall and snow squall warnings for Saturday. (Environment Canada)

A winter storm warning is in effect for the west coast, Northern Peninsula central, south coast and Burin for Saturday with snow accumulations between 20 and 30 cm expected by Sunday morning..

Forecasters say the storm is likely to start some time Saturday morning, with strong winds developing in the afternoon. That will combine with the freshly fallen snow to produce near zero visibility in blowing snow.

In the Connaigre, Terra Nova, Gander and Bonavista areas, ice pellets and freezing rain is expected Saturday evening, followed by rain and then changing back to snow early Sunday morning.

High winds, gusting to 110 km/h will pummel Burgeo Saturday night with winds reaching 100 km/h along parts of the northeast coast overnight Saturday into Sunday.

Environment Canada says the "significant low pressure system" will mean heavy snow and strong winds to start along the south coast and spread across the island through the day.

Forecast models suggest the heaviest snowfall will happen over central and southwestern Newfoundland, where it's possible 40 cm could land.

For the southern Avalon it's a rainfall warning with the southwest getting the worst of it — nearly 10 cm of snow and and up to 40 mm of rain is forecast by Sunday morning.

For St. John's, a quick shot of heavy snow is predicted early Saturday afternoon then changing to ice pellets and freezing rain then to rain in late afternoon.