Snow falling as eastern Newfoundland gets first storm of the season

The Avalon Peninsula and eastern Newfoundland can now join the rest of the province under a blanket of white.

Snow started falling in St. John's around 5:30 p.m., as a weather system sweeps across the island.

Closures began early on Thursday evening, with Paradise and Mount Pearl cancelling garbage collection and closing all town facilities in advance of the expected 15-25 cm of snow.

The City of St. John's is asking people with street parking outside their homes to keep their vehicles in a driveway to allow plow operators to do their job.

The winter storm warning covers the Avalon, Bonavista, Clarenville and Burin Peninsula. The rest of the island can expect snow, but in lesser amounts.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Department of Transportation and Works sent out advisories, urging drivers to be cautious and not to venture out on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

"The department's snow clearing and ice control crews are ready to respond and will be operating overnight tonight," a release from government reads.

The snowfall began light in the early evening hours, and was expected to become heavier into the evening, which could make for dicey driving.

Ted Dillon/CBC

"The commute home could be a little bit slippery, so take your time because the winds are also gonna pick up as well," said CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler. "We're looking at gusts between 70 to 80 km/h, so whiteout conditions are certainly possible during those times."

The latest forecasts for Bonavista and Clarenville show snow beginning this evening, with up to 15 cm falling before morning.

Strong wind gusts will bring blowing snow and reduced visibility to those areas as well, according to Environment Canada.

Conditions in eastern Newfoundland are expected to improve into Friday afternoon, but Brauweiler said the snow could stick around, as there might be more on the way for Saturday.

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