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Dangerous blizzard-like conditions threaten Newfoundland, 30+ cm possible

Wednesday, January 20th 2021, 8:30 pm - Winter storm warnings were issued Wednesday for the next system that threatens dangerous blizzard-like conditions over Newfoundland Thursday.

Newfoundland is in for what for parts of the Avalon will be their heftiest snowfall since the crippling blizzard of a year ago. Though Thursday's looming storm won't bring anything like those extreme snowfall amounts, they'll still be substantial, with 20-35 cm ahead for much of the Avalon Peninsula and parts of the northern coast, though amounts drop off sharply beyond those areas. 60-90 km/h winds will worsen the experience, making for dangerous whiteout conditions, with forecasters warning people to stay off the roads. More details on the timing and impact, below.


  • Major winter storm potential in Newfoundland Thursday, threatens 25-35 cm of snow
  • Strong winds in the 60-90 km/h likely to make for blizzard conditions
  • Conditions to improve in Newfoundland Friday, but more periods of snow expected on the weekend for northern, eastern areas


A storm that developed south of Nova Scotia on Wednesday looks to track east of Newfoundland Thursday and Friday, leading to a lopsided impact on the island, with very heavy snowfall for the Avalon and some areas on the northeastern coast, and amounts ranging from 5-15 cm elsewhere, to little or nothing along a good chunk of the south coast.

On the Avalon itself, particularly eastern parts of it, including St. John's, some 25-35 cm is possible between Thursday midday and Friday morning, though a wobble in the storm's track could increase or decrease those amounts.

NL Snow

Aside from the snow, also impactful will be the storm's winds, peaking in the early afternoon in the 60-90 km/h range and staying at that level for most of the evening and overnight hours.

However, even once the snow begins dying down through the pre-dawn hours, it will take some time for the winds to subside as well, meaning blowing snow will affect visibility to the point of whiteouts for a fair bit into Friday morning.

st johns

Winter storm watches were upgraded to full-fledged warnings Wednesday afternoon for the Avalon and vicinity, warning of the blizzard-like conditions expected Thursday afternoon and night.

Far to the north, Labrador sees its own heavy snow from a separate system die down Thursday morning, and snow ends through Friday morning in Newfoundland itself.

Beyond, additional periods of snow are expected on the weekend for northern and eastern areas of Newfoundland.

Be sure to check back as we continue to monitor the pattern change and potent late week system across Atlantic Canada.

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