Northern Labrador warned to prepare for 'powerful and dangerous blizzard'
A major winter storm is barrelling toward Northern Labrador, and the provincial government is warning people there to be prepared.
CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler describes it as "a powerful and dangerous blizzard."
"This is not a storm to take lightly," she said Friday afternoon. "It's a good idea to be prepared for extended power outages and get an emergency kit ready."
Environment Canada has put a large part of Labrador's north coast under a blizzard warning for Friday evening through Saturday night.
The storm is expected to drop between 60 and 80 centimetres of snow on the area, with higher amounts possible in Postville, Makkovik and Hopedale.
"Blizzard conditions will develop overnight and will persist through Saturday leading to whiteouts and zero visibility. Winds will be gusting over 100 km/h for 18-plus hours," Brauweiler said.
Northwesterly winds could reach more than 130 km/h at times on Saturday.
There will be less snow, 20 to 30 centimetres, toward Natuashish, while Nain could see between five and 10 centimetres.
Environment Canada said it's not recommending travel during the storm.
In a press release Friday afternoon, the province's Public Safety Department asked residents to monitor forecasts.
"Residents and communities are asked to use caution and to take measures to ensure personal safety, and if possible, to clear fire hydrants of snow in case of emergency," reads the release. "It is important that residents have the supplies they need, including food, water and medications for at least 72 hours in the event of adverse weather conditions affecting travel."
Farther south, the Red Bay to L'Anse-au-Clair area can expect between 15 and 25 centimetres through Friday night.
Much of the rest of the province is under extreme cold and warnings for the weekend, with some areas under a snow squall watch.
"Saturday will be frigid and windy across the island. West or southwesterly winds gusting between 80-110 km/h means wind chills between –25 and –30 through the day," said Brauweiler.
"This cold weather and the open ocean are a perfect recipe for intense snow squalls as well, which may produce blizzard conditions at times. In snow squalls the weather conditions can vary considerably in just a couple of kilometres, meaning you can be in a snow squall with zero visibility in one minute and then blue sky a few minutes later."
Brauweiler said the weather will improve overnight Saturday.