Heavy rains forecasted for Vancouver Island triggers high streamflow advisory

Heavy rains forecasted for Vancouver Island triggers high streamflow advisory
Water is seen on a road in the Cowichan Valley in this file photo.

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for Vancouver Island and other areas of the province ahead of a wet storm system early next week.

Moderate rainfall is expected on Vancouver Island this weekend, before a downpour arrives on select parts of the Island on Monday and Tuesday.

On Sunday, 20 to 50 millimetres of rain is expected across the Island and most of southern B.C., according to the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.

At mid-to-high elevations on the Island, that precipitation may fall as snow, the province said in a notice Saturday afternoon.

“A storm hitting Washington/Oregon on Sunday has the potential to swing north to southern Vancouver Island and [the] Lower Mainland with moderate precipitation, but there is low confidence in its path at this time,” reads the advisory.

Then, on Monday and Tuesday, heavy precipitation is set to sweep West Vancouver Island, where 150 to 250 millimetres of rain is expected.

Meanwhile, moderate rainfall is expected for Inland Vancouver Island during this same time period, between 60 to 100 millimeters, before rains begin to ease on Tuesday.

“The Monday storm system will bring a wave of warmer air, quickly elevating freezing levels and increasing the possibility of snow melt and rain-on-snow where snow has accumulated,” says the province.

“On top of the forecast heavy rainfall, additional runoff inputs from rain-on-snow may be substantial.”


The precipitation and possible snowmelt has prompted the province to place all of Vancouver Island under a high streamflow advisory, meaning that river levels are expected to rise quickly, but no major flooding is expected.

That being said, the province warns that minor flooding may occur, particularly in low-lying areas.

“The upcoming storm system should be regarded with a high degree of caution, as even relatively minor shifts in storm track and characteristics may have substantial impacts on related flood hazard.”

The province says drivers should prepare for sudden changes to road conditions and to avoid flooded roads if they come across them.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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