WATCH: A massive storm barreling towards Tofino, already kicking up massive waves, has storm watchers awestruck at what they’re seeing. An extreme wave hazard is in effect even though the bulk of the storm — expected to bring 40-foot waves — isn’t due until tomorrow. Skye Ryan was there.
Storm watchers at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are being warned about extreme and hazardous waves expected Thursday through Saturday.
Parks Canada has issued an extreme wave hazard advisory for the park and is warning people to be cautious at beaches, shorelines and coastal waters in and around the park.
According to Parks Canada, large ocean swells reaching up to nine metres are predicted during the two days. High tides of up to 3.6 metres at mid-day are expected to compound the wave hazard.
“These conditions could result in flooded beaches, floating logs, large waves breaking high up on shore and extremely hazardous surf conditions. The most dangerous period of the day is likely to be at high tide from mid-morning to mid-afternoon,” Parks Canada said in a statement.
Depending on the severity of the flooding, some beach areas and beach parking lots may be temporarily closed. Parks Canada said visitors who want to see large waves are advised to go to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre?s Observation Deck at Wickaninnish Beach or the Florencia Bay Lookout.
WATCH: Some visitors at Pacific Sands Beach Resort enjoy watching the foam in Tofino on Jan. 17. Videos courtesy of Shane Richards.
Tofino and the rest of western Vancouver Island are under a wind warning for Wednesday. Seventy to 90 km/h winds are expected to continue over exposed coastal sections before easing slightly in the afternoon. The winds will remain strong throughout the night.
A wind warning is also in effect for east Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands and north Vancouver Island.
According to Environment Canada, in Greater Victoria, eastern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, southeasterly winds of 70 kilometres an hour gusting to 90 km/h will continue near the Strait of Georgia. Strong winds for the area near Haro Strait are expected to continue into the early afternoon.
On northern Vancouver Island, southeasterly winds of 80 to 100 kilometres an hour are expected due to an intense Pacific frontal system crossing Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.
Environment Canada said high winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break. The weather agency said drivers should be aware that road conditions may change due to high winds.
WATCH: Strong waves and winds in Tofino on Jan. 17.