Nfld. & Labrador

Another major winter storm barrelling toward Newfoundland

Eastern and a section of central Newfoundland could receive another 20 to 40 centimetres of snow — with some areas seeing up to 70 or more.

Some areas could see 70 cm of snow, and strong winds

Environment Canada is asking travellers to make other plans, as strong winds and another major snowfall head to Newfoundland. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Another major winter storm is barrelling toward Newfoundland, bringing a lot of snow and strong winds with it.

The only question now is who gets what.

Environment Canada has eastern Newfoundland and most of central under a special weather statement, anticipating 20 to 40 centimetres of snow generally, with some areas — like Trinity or Conception Bay — looking at a possible 70 centimetres.

People should prepare for some power outages.- Justin Boudreau

The storm is due to arrive overnight Thursday and ramp up through Friday, likely sticking around through Friday night and even into Saturday in some places.

Meteorologists are still trying to track which way the storm will move, and Justin Boudreau at the Environment Canada weather office in Gander says that will make all the difference in how much snow certain areas get.

"The general track itself hasn't changed all that much, but it moved like 20 kilometres and that means all the snow goes into Trinity Bay instead of Conception Bay," he said.

"So those kind of microchanges now are what's going to make some shifting on the numbers."

The island has already seen a few major snowfalls this season, and the Avalon Peninsula in particular is dealing with more than 100 centimetres since Christmas.

In a press release Wednesday afternoon, the provincial government warned of poor to near-zero visibility, coastal flooding and the possibility of significant storm surges — all of which could affect snow clearing and ice control services. 

It asked municipalities and local service districts to make sure roads, ditches and drains are clear and that residents make sure they have the supplies they need in case of an emergency. 

Travellers beware

Meanwhile, Environment Canada is warning travellers to make other plans in advance of the intense storm.

Wind gusts of 100 to 120 km/h inland, and up to 130 km/h or higher along the coast, will likely make travel difficult. 

"It could be pretty windy, so I would think people should prepare for some power outages," said Boudreau.

"And if you have any loose objects lying around the yard — I suspect they're already buried — but if they're not maybe pick them up."

It's been a snow-filled January for most of Newfoundland, and downtown St. John's will likely look similar to way it did on Jan. 5. (Marie Isabelle Rochon/Radio-Canada)

WestJet and Air Canada have both posted travel advisories in preparation for the storm, so change fees are waived for flights scheduled within those times. PAL Airlines said flights through St. John's and Gander will likely be affected Friday. 

Air Canada has a winter storm warning posted for Friday and Saturday, while WestJet has declared a travel warning for Canada's East Coast from Tuesday to Friday.

Environment Canada says winds will also create some dangerous coastal conditions, with possible 80 centimetre storm surges combined with 10-metre waves. The agency also warns of possible flooding and damage to coastal infrastructure.

And though it may be slim, Boudreau said there's still a chance of some rain on parts of the Avalon.

"The stuff from last night still had a little bit of rain in Cape Race, maybe as far north as Bay Bulls or in Metro," he said. "So it wouldn't be a lot of rain.… It looks like maybe just a little splash of it or maybe even just drizzle."

Clear fire hydrants

Insp. Gary Power of the St. John's Regional Fire Department urged residents of the metro area to ensure that fire hydrants in their neighbourhoods are not buried in snow and ice.

There are about 3,200 hydrants in St. John's alone. Clearing them of snow, he said, can help with potential rescue efforts when time is precious.

"Our firefighters deal with that all the time. The first thing they have to do, if there is a fire, is clear out the fire hydrant," he said.

"Instead of setting up and getting ready to fight the fire, they have to clear out the fire hydrant. Take a few extra minutes to clear out your hydrant, and in the event of an emergency, we don't have to use that time."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show