Nfld. & Labrador

Record-breaking snow in eastern Newfoundland

Heavy snowfall in eastern and southern Newfoundland has closed most schools and businesses, and is causing hazardous driving conditions.

Schools, businesses and buses affected

A man on digs out with a snowblower on Waterford Bridge Road, in St. John's. (CBC)

Heavy snowfall in eastern and southern Newfoundland – up to 29 centimetres at the St. John's airport before 1 p.m. – has closed most schools and businesses, and is causing hazardous driving conditions Thursday.

The previous record snowfall for this day in the St. John's area was 23.9 cm in 1972.

Driving, wet snow started overnight and continued into Thursday. Mid-afternoon Environment Canada weather warnings remained in effect in the Placentia and Cape Race areas.

By 7 a.m., about 15 centimetres had fallen in the St. John's area, Argentia was estimated to have about 14 centimetres and Gander was reporting about one centimetre.

"Well, it looks like the Avalon and the Burin peninsulas are getting the worst of it today. We've already seen upwards of 20 centimetres in the Burin, less in St. John's, but expect another 15 centimetres for those areas this morning," Wes Miller of Environment Canada said before 7 a.m.

Metrobus, the St. John's public transportation system, closed at 9 a.m. but returned to service at 1 p.m.

A tractor-trailer truck slid off the Trans-Canada Highway about 15 kilometres east of Goobies, but the highway remained open.

Police warned people to drive carefully in the hazardous conditions.

Most schools in the Eastern School District, including St. John’s, were closed all day.

According to CBC St. John's meteorologist Ryan Snoddon the storm is record-breaker for this date.

"Snowfall to 9:30 a.m: St. Lawrence 27 centimetres; Winterland 31 centimetres; St. John's 25 centimetres ; Gander 1 centimetre," he tweeted.

Earlier in the day he tweeted the past records.

"Snowiest Nov. 24 so far: 23.9 cm in 1972. Snowiest November day: 25.3 cm on Nov 19, 1980."