Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for the majority of Vancouver Island, expected to hit Tuesday afternoon and last through Wednesday night.
The weather agency says the heavy rain is part of a “warmer and wetter” weather pattern that is headed towards the area this week.
The heavy rain warning blankets most of Vancouver Island including the west coast, east coast, and inland areas.
Environment Canada says that a strong southwest flow will develop on Tuesday and result in an atmospheric river impacting the south coast of British Columbia.
Heavy rain will develop later Tuesday as the first of several systems embedded in the flow arrives, adds Environment Canada, also noting that heavy rain will redevelop at times through Wednesday night as other systems arrive.
The River Forecast Centre has issued advisories covering Vancouver Island, the south coast and Fraser Valley, saying downpours coupled with rising temperatures have the potential to melt low elevation snowpacks and cause “minor to significant flooding.”
“The storms are several days away, so the exact location and intensity of heaviest rainfall is still uncertain,” the agency that issues flood warnings and other notices for B.C. waterways said on its website.
Waterways were expected to begin rising on Tuesday and could peak the following day or by Thursday, the centre said.
Environment Canada reported several storms are embedded in the impending system although the post from the River Forecast Centre said conditions are not expected to be as extreme as late last year
Snow levels are also expected to rise to between 1500 to 2000 metres. Some snowmelt at low levels will contribute to a runoff which may result in high stream levels and localized flooding as well.
Northern Vancouver Island, while not under the heavy rain warning, is being cautioned about high winds on Monday.
Environment Canada says that 90 km/h winds are expected, with the potential to gust up to 110 km/hr.
“An intense storm system over Haida Gwaii has spread strong southeasterly winds to exposed coastal sections of Haida Gwaii and the north coast. Winds have also increased over the central coast and North Vancouver Island. These strong winds are expected to ease later this morning.”