The best words to describe the past 36 hours are wet, windy, and cold. With winds in excess of 100 km/h being reported across Newfoundland the past day and a half, combined with torrential rain and snow for areas in central and western Newfoundland, winter is making its first real impact this year. Folks in Corner Brook saw several centimeters of “plowable” snow, as did other areas in higher terrain. Exact amounts will be updated once Environment Canada issues a storm summary. In addition to the wild weather on Newfoundland, off shore mariners experienced some wild weather as well. With storm warnings and hurricane force wind warnings in effect, most of the Grand Banks and waters east of Sable Island saw seas between 7 and 11 meters. The Hibernia Oil rig off shore recently reported winds of 73 knots gusting to 78 knots and seas of 9.5 meters. St. John’s saw winds of 68 gusting 98 km/hr today, and had 64 mm of rain from this system. But everyone is wondering about what tomorrows forecast will bring?
Friday’s Storm: Models are in better agreement with the low traveling up the coast of Nova Scotia where it could dump a slushy 5 cm of snow across the province today. On Friday it moves off the coast of the Avalon, once again going through cyclogenesis (the rapid strengthening of a low pressure system). The GEM models have finally caught on to the cold air advection the the NAM and GFS weather forecast model has been predicting the past 48 hours. Pretty much what St. John’s will see is rain to start Friday near noon time, then as the low moves past the city, and rain fall rates at their highest peak, we can expect that rain to turn to snow. A slushy 5 cm of snow is not out of the question, even up to 10 cm in some interior elevated locations.
My one serious recommendation to all my readers is to be very careful driving on Friday, as some people ( like myself) do not have winter tires put on. In addition, a number of motorists may still be driving in a summer mode, and need to learn to adapt to the changing weather conditions. Remember, as technical as this sounds- whenever it rain’s or snows, it reduces the coefficient of friction on the surface of a roadway, making it slippery and harder for traction. Slow down, take your time driving tomorrow, look out for other motorists and how they are driving, and if you have not set up an appointment to get your snow tires put on- give them a call!
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