Atmospheric River moving across Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Atmospheric River moving across Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada is warning of an atmospheric river weather system that’s going to sweep across Vancouver Island.

It’s forecast to bring 70 to 100 millimetres of rain in some areas.

Environment Canada says the storm is already hitting Vancouver Island.

“I would call this fairly extreme, yes. We do see several atmospheric rivers you know we had a bit of a hybrid there in mid-September and then another good storm at the end of September,” said Armel Castallan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Environment Canada says this atmospheric river will sweep across central Vancouver Island and hit between Nanoose Bay and Fanny Bay on the east side before hitting the lower mainland.

It’s expected to come in two waves, today letting up in the early evening and then picking up tonight in earnest and carrying through tomorrow evening.

It’s forecasted to drop up to 100 millimetres of rain in some areas.

“We’re calling it a big skinny firehose because when you look at the satellite and the radar it’s really quite amazing how if this shifted 50 kilometres to the north or south it would drastically change the outcome in how many millimetres will fall in one particular region,” said Castallan.

The City of Nanaimo says it’s been cleaning culverts and preparing for the fall storms like this one.

“We get kind of a double whammy because all the leaves come off the trees and then we get a lot of rain and they want to go where the rain wants to go so we plug up the catch basins so we increase our street sweeping and we have crews go to our critical infrastructure areas,” said John Elliot, Nanaimo’s Director of Public Works.

Elliot is asking residents to clear culverts or catch basins near their homes and if they’re unable to call public works.

While Environment Canada is forecasting Nanaimo will miss the eye of the storm it’s still expected to get a share.

“We live on the wet coast so I think I’d rather have the rain than the snow,” said Dwain Rintala, a Nanaimo resident.

Environment Canada says with September dropping more than double the normal rainfall on parts of Vancouver Island the fall is shaping up to be the complete opposite of the dry March to August.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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