Did you ever notice that Atlantic Canadians like to name their snowfalls?  We have the Sugar Snow, the Smelt Snow, the Robin Snow and now, with St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, Sheila’s Brush.  According to Newfoundland weather legend, a winter storm that falls around St. Patrick's Day is known as Sheila's Brush.

Sheila is related to Patrick in some way; depending on the version of the legend, she might be his wife or sister or mother or mistress or housekeeper. It’s believed that the snow that comes on or around March 17this stirred up by Sheila brushing the old season away on St Patrick’s Day.

There was a storm that proved the truth of this legend just two years ago. On St. Patrick's Day, March 17th 2008, the second of two powerful back-to-back storms roared across the province. Schools and businesses were shut down.  In St. John's, even public transit was pulled off the road. Roads were completely blocked by snow. Gander saw 120 cm of snow - about a quarter of its' average annual snowfall in about a week.

The legend of Sheila’s Brush is not to be taken lightly.  There are some Newfoundlanders and even seal hunters who firmly believe in this and won't head out until they know Shelia's Brush storm has happened. 

 While some might call today’s snow “Sheila’s Brush”,  it traditionally comes just after St Patrick’s Day, and boy do I have a deusy for you!  Stay tuned!


Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day