Nfld. & Labrador

'Pretty big storm' heading to N.L. could drop major snowfall starting Thursday

Snow could hit the entire island on Thursday night, with projected amounts ranging from 15 centimetres to 60 centimetres.

Forecast models indicate 'significant snow' for eastern Newfoundland

Snow-covered cars make their way through downtown St. John's during a winter storm Jan. 5. (Marie Isabelle Rochon/Radio-Canada)

A storm is heading toward the island of Newfoundland, bringing with it heavy winds and the potential for a huge dump of snow.

CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler said the newest forecast models Tuesday afternoon were starting to match up, so "it's very likely that we will see significant snow" of 25 to 30 centimetres for eastern Newfoundland. 

Winds could reach 100 km/h or higher, with the storm starting overnight Thursday, continuing Friday, and tapering off Saturday — and snowfall amounts might be higher. 

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement, calling it "an intense storm" for the eastern portion of the island, from Bay of Exploits down to the Burin Peninsula, and east to St. John's. 

"Visibility will likely be reduced to zero over some areas, with blizzard conditions possible," the statement reads, urging people to avoid travel if possible. 

The agency said the exact track of the storm is still uncertain, so it's too early to tell where the highest snowfall accumulation will be but 20 to 40 centimetres could fall. Snow may mix with or change to rain at some point over the Avalon Peninsula, with conditions set to improve by early Saturday. 

On Tuesday morning, Justin Boudreau, meteorologist with Environment Canada's Gander weather office, said it's still too early to know exactly how the storm will affect Newfoundland, or where it will hit.

It looks like it will track either directly over the Avalon Peninsula or just to the southeast. The effects, however, will be felt across the island to a varying degree.

"It's a pretty big storm," Boudreau told The St. John's Morning Show. "I have been saying kind of a widespread 15 to 30 centimetres, with maybe as much as 40-60 in some lucky area between the two major cities."

A shovel full of snow gets cleared out of a St. John's driveway following a winter storm on Jan. 6. More snow is set to fall by this weekend. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Depending on the track of the storm, high winds and rain could also trouble parts of the island.

"I've seen three different solutions, I guess, from late last night to early this morning. It's been changing every time," Boudreau said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Ashley Brauweiler

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