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Happy Valley-Goose Bay sees huge snowfall, first blizzard of the year

Snow accumulated quickly in Happy Valley-Goose Bay overnight on Tuesday. This photo was taken at 4:30 a.m. and the snowfall continued for about 12 hours after that. - PHOTO BY DENISE COLE
Snow accumulated quickly in Happy Valley-Goose Bay overnight Monday and into Tuesday. This photo was taken at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, and the snowfall continued for about 12 hours after that. - PHOTO BY DENISE COLE

Giant dumps of snow are nothing new to people in the Big Land, but even by Labrador standards the snowfall over the last 24 hours was a doozy.

Snow began to fall Monday evening and by 11 a.m. Tuesday 60 centimetres of snow had fallen, with 25-30 more expected before evening.

SaltWire Network meteorologist Cindy Day said the storm, the first blizzard of the season for Labrador, tracked across Ontario and Quebec, bringing significant snow across those provinces, and was just off the Northern Peninsula Tuesday afternoon.

“The system really is a two-season system. North of the storm it’s a blizzard, snow and wind and significant windchill. On the south side of that low-pressure system it's extremely mild, but also very windy. So, depending on where you are, there are either spring-like conditions or deep into winter.”

Day said it’s interesting to note that as of 11 a.m. Tuesday Gander was the hot spot in the country, while there was 60 centimetres of snow in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, about 840 kilometres away.

The blizzard warning would probably remain in effect until about midnight, she said, since the high winds will keep visibility low even when the snow stops in the early evening.

Schools and many businesses closed for the day in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but some remained open or were slated to open after lunch.

All town facilities, including the town hall and the E.J. Broomfield Arena, remained closed for the day, and the scheduled town council meeting was moved to Thursday.

Canada Post announced it would not deliver mail in the region Tuesday due to the weather.

May be new record

The average snowfall for the month of November in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is 56 centimetres, Day said, so Tuesday alone will top that. There has already been a record amount of snowfall this month, she said, but depending on how the calculations are done it could also be a new one-day record.

The previous record was set, she said, on Jan. 16, 1985, when 71 centimetres fell in one day.

“It’s going to be tricky how they add these numbers, since it will have fallen on the 23rd and 24th, so we’ll see how that comes out, but it’s on track for a record,” she said.


Evan Careen is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Labrador for SaltWire Network.

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