A green Christmas for Newfoundland is almost guaranteed

·2 min read

After being pelted by rain and wind, a drier Wednesday is in store for Newfoundland, with chances of a white Christmas pretty much wiped out for the entire island.

"If you don't have snow on the ground now, the chances of getting some are pretty slim," said Rob Carroll, an Environment Canada meteorologist in Gander.

Tuesday saw heavy rains and strong winds hit much of the island, with gusts reaching 115 km/h in Bonavista, 104 km/h at the St. John's and Stephenville airports, and 98 km/h in Deer Lake. Tuesday's highs were also in the double digits for most of Newfoundland, with temperatures above 10 C recorded from St. John's to Corner Brook, with the mild weather cutting into much of the west coast's accumulated snow from the week before.

The storm knocked over Christmas decorations, postponed some garbage collection in St. John's and caused flooding in areas like Clarenville, where the town closed its Rotary Trail and the Elizabeth Swan Park due to pooling water.

The town also reported multiple washouts on the railbed and on Facebook it warned ATV users to avoid the area.

Carroll said that storm system had cleared the province by Wednesday, with only a few flurries for the west coast left in its wake before a warm-up comes along, coinciding with the arrival of Santa's sleigh.

"On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and even the 27th, we're looking at very mild temperatures, probably in the plus five- to plus 10-degree range … so even if you do have some snow down, it's likely a good chunk of it's going to melt over those three days," Carroll said, in a forecast that will make some people's holiday wishes come true, and others weep over their new skis.

John Gushue/CBC
John Gushue/CBC

Christmas rain

The warmth and rain holds true for much of Labrador on Christmas as well, with rain and highs up to 9 C now forecast for most of the Big Land, including the Postville-Makkovik areas, which had previously been under a winter storm warning for Wednesday.

The incoming rain prompted the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay to issue an alert warning of possible flooding, with up to 50 millimetres of rain possible on Christmas Day.

Even areas that have seen significant snowy conditions in recent days, such as Labrador's northernmost community of Nain, have a forecast of 1 C and rain for Boxing Day.

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