Schools closed, flights cancelled, buses taken off the road as snowstorm sets in

As the winds picked up and the snow began to fall on eastern Newfoundland in Tuesday morning, the closures began rolling in. 

The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District closed all schools on the Avalon Peninsula, Bonavista Peninsula, Burin Peninsula, and other areas around eastern Newfoundland around 6 a.m. 

In St. John’s, Metrobus pulled its drivers off the road, citing weather conditions. An update was promised for later in the day. At St. John’s International Airport, all flights coming and going were cancelled on Tuesday. Early flights for Wednesday are also cancelled.

“There’s pretty much a closed sign on the Avalon,” said CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler. “So just enjoy Valentine’s Day inside with the snow blowing and try to stay off the roads.”

Most of eastern Newfoundland and the south coast are expected to feel the brunt of the storm, with between 30 and 45 centimetres of snow in the forecast between early Tuesday morning and Wednesday at noon. Winds are expected to gust around 80 km/h, with peak winds reaching 100 on the tail end of the storm.

A boat is anchored next to a wharf, with heavy snow blowing across the water limiting visibility.
Visibility was limited on Tuesday morning as high winds threw snow around. This was the scene on Harbour Drive in St. John’s. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

Brauweiler said the snow will turn to freezing rain around noon before switching back to snow again heading into Wednesday. That window might provide time to begin cleaning up some of the snow before it sets in again.

Conditions will improve slightly when ice pellets replace some of the snow falling. Once the snow sets in again, visibility will be drastically reduced.

“We could see as high as 50 centimetres in some areas. But really it’s a widespread event,” she said. “We’ve got winter storm warnings as far west as Gander, Bonavista North and also the Connaigre

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