Avalon Peninsula under winter storm warning for Sunday

Posted: February 17, 2024 8:32 am | Last Updated: February 17th, 2024 9:23 pm
By Eddie Sheerr

A strengthening, fast-moving, area of low pressure is going to pass just east of, or over, the southeastern Avalon Peninsula Sunday morning, on its way into the North Atlantic. As the low passes, much of eastern Newfoundland will see snow from early Sunday morning into the afternoon. The heaviest snow will fall over the Avalon Peninsula from around 5 or 6 AM Sunday into the early afternoon. The snow will taper to flurries and end by Sunday evening.

Low-pressure centres like this can also generate an area of high wind speeds. As of this morning, it looks like the southeast Avalon may see a couple of hours of wind gusts approaching 100 km/h Sunday afternoon, centered around 3 PM. Farther north, toward the St. John’s Metro and northeast Avalon, it also looks like there will be a period of high wind speeds, gusting as high as 80 km/h during the later stages of Sunday afternoon. It looks like the highest wind speeds will come in after most of the snow has fallen. However, due to the nature of this system, there will be areas of blowing snow over exposed areas.

There is the chance that some areas of the southeast Avalon will see a change to rain for a time on Sunday morning, but that will ultimately be determined by the track of the low, which is still somewhat uncertain. If the area of low pressure remains offshore, the change to rain will likely stay offshore. If the low tracks near, or over, the southeast Avalon, a larger geographic region, will see a change to rain.

The Environment and Climate Change Canada Weather Office in Gander has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the following areas from overnight Saturday night to Sunday afternoon:

  • Avalon Peninsula North
  • Avalon Peninsula Southeast
  • Avalon Peninsula Southwest
  • St. John’s & vicinity

Current details: Hazardous winter conditions are expected.

Locations: Avalon Peninsula.

Total snowfall: 15 to 20 cm, locally up to 25 cm possible. Highest snowfall rates of 3 to 5 cm per hour can be Sunday morning. 

Maximum wind gusts: northerly to westerly near 80 km/h except up to 100 km/h over exposed coastal areas of the southeastern Avalon.  

Time span: overnight tonight to Sunday afternoon.

Remarks: Snow, at times heavy, will spread northward across the Avalon Peninsula overnight tonight, then taper to flurries Sunday afternoon. Winds will increase quite rapidly during the morning on Sunday causing poor visibilities in blowing snow, especially near high snow banks from the recent snowfall. Southeasternmost areas of the Avalon Peninsula may still see some mixed precipitation briefly Sunday morning. 

It is typical with these types of systems for the area of maximum snowfall to occur along a narrow band. For this reason, any shift in the track of this system may affect snowfall totals locally.  

Finally, the wind warning for the southeastern Avalon Peninsula has now been incorporated into this warning.

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.

Winter storm warnings are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.

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