Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for all areas of Vancouver Island as a winter storm approaches the B.C. coast for Thursday and Friday.

Greater Victoria, north Vancouver Island, inland Vancouver Island, west Vancouver Island and east Vancouver Island, from Courtenay to Campbell River, Duncan to Nanaimo, and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay, are all under the special weather statement. 

The weather agency says the storm will approach the coast on Thursday, with precipitation starting on Vancouver Island late Thursday morning and onto B.C.’s south coast early Thursday afternoon.

Environment Canada modelling shows where the winter storm will hit on Vancouver Island.

Environment Canada modelling shows where the winter storm will hit on Vancouver Island.

Strong southeasterly winds are expected Thursday afternoon, Environment Canada said.

Environment Canada modelling shows where the winter storm will hit on Vancouver Island.

Environment Canada modelling shows where the winter storm will hit on Vancouver Island.

Temperatures will be cold enough to allow some of the precipitation to start as wet snow over higher elevations of Vancouver Island and the south coast, according to Environment Canada.

By Thursday evening warm air accompanying the storm is set to drive freezing levels and temperatures higher so that precipitation will change to rain for most communities. The exception may be Whistler and the Sea to Sky Highway from Squamish to Whistler where snow could persist longer.

The heavy rain and strong winds are expected to continue all day on Friday. The highest rainfall amounts will be over the central coast, north and west Vancouver Island. Areas of Squamish, northern sections of Metro Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley will also significant amounts of rainfall.

In areas where snow does accumulate, a higher chance of localized flooding is possible due to rain on snow.