Rain, wind, lightning all in Vancouver Island’s forecast

Rain, wind, lightning all in Vancouver Island's forecast
A pedestrian carries an umbrella as light rain falls in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Environment Canada has issued wind warnings for much of British Columbia's coast ahead of a storm expected Monday.

Vancouver Island’s first fall storm of the year is bringing in all sorts of weather, with rain, wind and lightning all in the forecast.

Derek Lee, meteorologist with Environment Canada, says the current weather system moving in is called a “bomb cyclone.”

“It’s just really a term that’s used to describe a system that’s rapidly intensifying in a short matter of time,” Lee told CHEK News, noting the measurement is looking at pressure at the centre of the low-pressure system and if it drops rapidly over 24 hours.

BC Hydro says no part of Vancouver Island was spared from power outages caused by the wind bringing trees down on power lines, however, Campbell River, Comox Valley, the outer Gulf Islands, and Port Renfrew were among the areas hardest hit.

“At the peak, we had about 7,000 customers out on Vancouver Island and about 2,000 out on the Sunshine Coast,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

“The weather is still pretty volatile right now, so we’re going to see more outages happen throughout the day and there may be unfortunately some customers out overnight.”

Along with the wind generated by the bomb cyclone, the region is supposed to receive its first significant amount of rain in months.

“It is a rather kind of stormy pattern that we’re in, so we’re likely going to see wet conditions in some form,” Lee said.

“Even if it’s not continuous rain, we probably will see some showers in the upcoming days, at least until Thursday. We do have another low-pressure system kind of close to Vancouver Island approaching on Wednesday.”

The low-pressure system on Wednesday will bring more strong winds to the areas around the Juan de Fuca Strait. Areas around the Georgia Strait will continue to see strong winds through to Wednesday.

There is also a risk of lightning storms for the Island, though Lee notes lightning is harder to predict.

“All of the Island has a chance to see it, but where we’re likely going to see it is probably over the higher terrain of the Island, so the spine of the Island is probably where we can see your best bet in terms of thunderstorm activity,” he said.

“However, that’s not a guarantee. Thunderstorms just do whatever it likes, but the threat overall today is quite isolated, and the overall risks are just really strong winds even if we do get a thunderstorm rolling through.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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