A dangerous winter storm, packing heavy snow and high winds, is aimed for eastern Newfoundland Thursday into Friday.
Dumping one-half meter of snow whipped by winds to 100 km/h, the storm is likely put a halt to all normal outdoor activity in St. John's and elsewhere in the east.
Schools were shut Thursday on the Burin Peninsula of southern Newfoundland, with afternoon closings slated for St. John's, the CBC News website said.
Snow began to fall near daybreak on the Burin Peninsula and was nearing the Avalon Peninsula of eastern Newfoundland late in the morning.
The worst of the storm in St. John's, which is likely to bring snowfall rates of 3-5 cm per hour, is forecast by AccuWeather.com for the period between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
Government forecasters at Environment Canada (EC) have posted blizzard warnings for south-central and eastern Newfoundland, including St. John's. Up to 70 cm (about 28 inches) of snow is forecast through Friday for the northern Avalon Peninsula, including the capital city of St. John's.
Forecasters with AccuWeather.com believe that snowfall in greater St. John's will reach 30 to 60 cm (about 12 to 24 inches) by late Friday.
The last time such a storm hit St. John's may have been in mid-March 2008. Snowfall on Jan. 16 and 17 was 63 cm (25 inches), with another 3 cm falling on Jan. 18, data compiled by AccuWeather.com showed.
Winds will be strongest in exposed parts of eastern Newfoundland, where speeds will reach 60 to 70 mph Wednesday night and Friday.
Deep low pressure of a nor'easter at nearly top intensity off southeastern Newfoundland, Canada, in this computer-derived scenario for 0600 UTC Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Tightly packed isobars (black) and high precipitation rate (blue) imply a major snowstorm (blizzard) for St. John's and nearby eastern Newfoundland.
The trigger for blizzard is a gathering Nor'easter, setting up off southeastern Newfoundland as of Thursday. The storm is forecast to reach top intensity Thursday night before beginning to wane on Friday.
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