‘Extraordinarily active streak’: More rainfall warnings issued for Greater Victoria, southern Vancouver Island

'Extraordinarily active streak': More rainfall warnings issued for Greater Victoria, southern Vancouver Island
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Environment Canada has issued further rainfall warnings across Vancouver Island to last throughout Thursday.

According to the weather agency, heavy rain is expected to last through this evening in Greater Victoria, Cowichan Valley, Goldstream, Mill Bay and Port Renfrew, among other areas around southern Vancouver Island.

Experts with Environment Canada say that a “moisture-laden system with an atmospheric river pattern” is what is bringing the heavy rain.

READ MORE: Weather Warning: Heavy rainfall forecast for Southern Vancouver Island

Following a wet Wednesday, residents in Greater Victoria can expect an additional 20 to 30 mm of rain. People in the Port Renfrew area can anticipate as much as 40 to 60 mm, while the area surrounding the Malahat Highway is expected to receive 30 to 40 mm of rain.

The weather agency notes that the rainfall will ease by Thursday evening as the system moves into the BC Interior.

In the special weather statement, Environment Canada cautions that heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.

This is the fourth atmospheric river event in just a matter of weeks on Vancouver Island, with the past week also experiencing two history-making cyclones off the coast.

“It’s been an extraordinarily active streak of weather since mid-September,” said Armel Castellan, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

2021 has been a wild year for weather on Vancouver Island with a February snowfall, the driest spring on record, then the “heat dome” at the end of June.

“760 daily records were broken in those six days alone, so that event was so extraordinary it along would have said 2021 is worth reckoning with,” Castellan said.

A climatologist with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at UVic says the heat wave is a direct result of climate change and is a phenomenon that will become more common in the years ahead.

“In the climate change projections we see more extreme summers and more extreme winters, so wetter winters, and then hotter and often drier summers,” said Faron Anslow.

And it will be a wetter winter this year on the south coast because of la Nina.

“It kind of helps air come down from the north and bring cooler temperatures on average and we also see more precipitation in a la Nina especially in southern B.C.,” Anslow said.

And that means there will be a good potential for snow from around mid-December and on, particularly at local ski hills.


April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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