Nfld. & Labrador

Messy mix of snow, wind and rain hampering travel across much of N.L.

Just as Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow and called for six more weeks of winter, a low-pressure system is bringing a wintry mix of snow, wind and rain Sunday.

Rainfall warning for Avalon, winter storm warning for rest of island, Labrador

A snow and rain mix will make driving difficult on the Avalon Peninsula, while a winter storm is affecting travel elsewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Marie Isabelle Rochon/Radio-Canada)

Just as Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow and called for six more weeks of winter, a low-pressure system is bringing a wintry mix of snow, wind and rain across Newfoundland and into Labrador Sunday, with a chunk of the province falling under weather warnings.

Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for the whole Avalon Peninsula, as well as a wind warning for the southern Avalon and the Burin Peninsula.

CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler said 14 centimetres of snow fell at St. John's International Airport before changing over to rain Sunday afternoon. Five to 15 millimetres of rain is expected for the northern Avalon, with 20 to 40 millimetres possible on the southern Avalon.

Wind gusts could also reach 100 km/h, causing hazardous driving conditions, and the possibility of localized flooding in some areas.

Brauweiler said temperatures will peak at about 5 C before dropping off, causing icy conditions Monday morning.

"If you don't get this cleaned up, it's not necessarily going to turn rock solid — temperatures aren't that cold — but it's gonna be pretty heavy and it's not going to be a treat to clean up," she said.

"The snow should start to freeze after midnight tonight once we get past that rain, and then by tomorrow morning when you're leaving the house, it'll probably be sitting around - 3 C."  

Winter storm for much of island

A winter storm warning is in effect for southwestern, western, northern and central Newfoundland, as well as a snowfall warning for central, the northeast and the south.

Fifteen to 25 centimetres of snow are expected, with more possible for the Northern Peninsula.

Brauweiler said the snow will change to drizzle in parts of central Newfoundland by Sunday evening, with the heaviest snow falling along the west coast.

Flurries and moderate winds will continue into Monday in western Newfoundland, she said, with the Corner Brook area seeing about 30 centimetres in total.

In Labrador, there is a winter storm warning in effect from Red Bay to Makkovik, with 15 to 40 cm of snow and wind gusts reaching 100 km/h forecast. The snow is forecast to start Sunday night.

Travel delays 

The Department of Transportation and Works says as of 11:10 a.m. Sunday, the Witless Bay Line was closed and Pitts Memorial Drive should be avoided due to drifting snow and zero visibility. 

Travel is also not recommended on highways across much of Newfoundland due to poor visibility. 

A number of arrivals and departures have also been cancelled or delayed at airports in St. John's, Gander and Deer Lake.

Marine Atlantic has also cancelled its Gulf crossings for Sunday.

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