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Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball is seen in his office at the Confederation Building, in St. John's, in a Feb. 18, 2020, file photo. Today was to be the first government sitting since Ball announced his intention to step down last month.Paul Daly/The Canadian Press

The opening of Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislature was delayed Monday as the provincial capital was hit by another winter storm.

St. John’s and the surrounding area had been under a winter storm warning Monday morning, with Environment Canada forecasting five more centimetres of snow and gusty winds through midday.

Meteorologist David Neil said the St. John’s International Airport had recorded 23 centimetres of snow as of 10:30 a.m., since the storm began Sunday evening.

Weather warnings were lifted as of Monday afternoon, but Neil said strong wind gusts could still cause blowing snow and make for dangerous driving conditions.

The House of Assembly was set to sit Monday afternoon but government offices and schools were closed for the day as snow and wind gusts affected visibility across the city.

Monday was to be the first government sitting since Premier Dwight Ball announced his intention to step down last month, saying he would remain in his post until his party elects a new leader in May.

Ball has said he will stay on as the representative for his Humber-Gros Morne district until the next provincial election, which is legally required to take place 12 months after the new leader is sworn in.

Monday’s storm is the latest in a snowy season for the capital, with between 360 and 370 centimetres recorded at the airport, up from the average annual count of 335 centimetres, according to Neil.

“It’s already been an above-normal snowfall year for St. John’s, and we’ve still got March left to go,” Neil said by phone from Gander.

The province requested military assistance earlier this year when a blizzard brought more than 76 centimetres of snow down on the city in a single day, prompting an eight-day state of emergency as workers cleared the streets of snow.

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