Unprecedented ‘weather bomb’ expected to lose strength as it hits Van. Island Sunday

Unprecedented 'weather bomb' expected to lose strength as it hits Van. Island Sunday

They call it the calm before the storm but what Mother Nature has brewing off the west coast of B.C. and Washington State right now is more than just a storm, some experts are calling it a “weather bomb” or “bomb cyclone.”

“It’s the deepest storm, the lowest pressure storm ever observed in the coastal waters of our region, that’s why it’s so remarkable,” said University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass.

Mass says the storm is carrying winds equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, noting, “We’re talking about you know 13, 14-metre waves, pretty big stuff.”

It’s expected to make landfall sometime Sunday night, but it’s still unclear exactly where it will come onshore.

Local meteorologists say the most likely scenario is that it will hit northern Vancouver Island, from Tofino and Comox north, but there’s some good news when it does.

“So it’s going to be de-escalating its strength as it makes landfall,” said Environment and Climate Change Canada Meteorologist Armel Castellan.

So despite its historic strength offshore, experts say it will be nothing like the devastating December 2018 storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people.

More likely it will resemble Thursday’s storm where winds in some areas along the coast could top 100 kilometres per hour.

There may be some power outages, localized flooding and ferry cancellations, but widespread damage isn’t likely.

READ MORE: Storm knocks out power to thousands on Vancouver Island

“It is not a storm that is going to be talked about for months, if not years,” Castellan said.

And some more good news is that it’s not the first storm of the season thanks to Thursday’s wind.

“It kind of tests things and knocked down some things that would’ve gone down this time,” Mass said.

While the calm weather Friday may be deceiving, experts say there’s little question wind and rain is coming. And the ‘parade of storms’ doesn’t end after this weekend.

“We do have an active week of weather we’re going to be tracking potentially another atmospheric river late next week maybe Thursday, Friday timeline,” said Castellan.

And after that, thanks to La Nina, we’re in for a cold and wet winter ahead.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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