Newfoundland: States of emergency amid 130+ km/h winds, 70+ cm snow

Digital Writers
Newfoundland: States of emergency amid 130+ km/h winds, 70+ cm snow

Newfoundland saw extreme snowfall rates Friday as a very powerful winter storm hit the island at full strength. States of emergency, have been declared for St. John's and other communities, with the eastern part of the island expected to see gusts exceeding 130 km/h, and snow reaching 70 cm for some areas by the time all is said and done Saturday. More how much of a punch this system will pack heading into the weekend, below.

HIGHLIGHTS:

SATURDAY: DANGEROUS BLIZZARD HITS, STATES OF EMERGENCY DECLARED__

Numerous communities, including the capital St. John's, declared states of emergency as this storm began ramping up Friday morning, when snowfall rates as much as 10 cm per hour were falling.

By Friday night, the St. John's Airport was reporting 62 cm of snowfall, not far off from the all-time record of 68.4 cm, set in 1999.

StJohns Top5

Widespread warnings were still in effect Friday night with the hardest-hit areas of the province in line to see between 40-70+ cm of snow, lasting through early Saturday in more eastern areas, including the Avalon Peninsula.

Though down from its peak, there will likely still be some snow falling on the Avalon in the morning, but the system's strong winds may also get the sea-effect machine going for the island's western shores, which may get some squalls through the morning as well, though amounts will be nowhere near what the eastern part of the island has endured.

ATLSnow (18)

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: Tracking the monster storm on the ground

But though the worst of the snow will likely be over with by the morning, the winds will still be very strong. Though down from overnight peaks of 140 km/h, gusts will still be around or even above 100-120 km/h for northeastern parts of the island, as well as the Avalon.

That means that, technically, blizzard conditions will still afflict the region well through the day, as they are defined more by visibility due to blowing snow, rather than snowfall rates or amounts.

WIND FORECAST:

Blizzard warnings are issued when widespread reduced visibilities of 400 metres or less are expected for at least 4 hours.

STORM SURGE

In addition, higher-than-normal water levels are also expected along the east and northeast coasts of Newfoundland with 9 to 12-metre waves possible near high tide on Friday night and again on Saturday morning.

ATL storm surge warnings

Those are very dangerous storm surge levels, and people along the shores would be best served by staying away from the waters.

"Flooding and damage to coastal infrastructure is possible, especially in communities exposed to the north," Environment Canada warns.

Stay with us here at The Weather Network for your forecast updates as we follow these systems throughout the week.