El Nino weather may replace winter weather for south coast

El Nino weather may replace winter weather for south coast

Many Vancouver Island residents are still digging out from the latest winter storm. But it’s not snow that’s the problem for 84-year-old Lorraine Campbell.

“I am keeping the water [from flooding],” said the Saanich resident Friday. “The water comes down off the mountain, through that yard, down here.”

Campbell is trying to prevent melting snow from nearby Mount Tolmie from invading her basement.

She’s happy to hear the worst of winter might be done.

“Yes. I would be delighted,” Campbell said.

In just over a week, the Island hit record cold temperatures, followed by a series of snow storms.

But is there more winter to come?

Probably not, according to Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“The chances of that happening again are relatively low, particularly during an El Nino winter,” he said.

“So we are going back to regular programming now with warmer conditions for the foreseeable future, at least two weeks. It looks like February, generally, has a very clear warm signal as well,” Castellan said.

For once, the weather is cooperating with a slow warmup to prevent overwhelming of the region’s thousands of catch basins.

“What’s interesting about today, and last night is, particularly on the South Island, have crested zero degrees. Often we’re used to a quicker warmup. Now it’s three degrees, and we’ll go up to maybe five or six. So the warmup is well on its way,” Castellan said.

That’s good news, because February can often deliver a wallop of winter, as it did in 2019.

That’s not likely in 2024.

“The overall answer is, probably, that was winter,” said Castellan. “You know, it’s still going to be miserable, dismal weather. We don’t see a big rain event on the horizon. We just see consistent rain over the coming days and weeks.”

So get used to the rain for the foreseeable future, more in tune with El Nino and back to regular programming as our more common ‘Wet Coast’ winter returns .


Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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