Strong wind warning issued for Strait of Georgia

Strong wind warning issued for Strait of Georgia

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for east, west and north Vancouver Island. File photo.

File photo.

The Strait of Georgia is still under a strong wind warning while a waterspout watch has ended.

Environment Canada said strong winds of 20 to 33 knots (37 to 61 kilometres per hour) are occurring or expected in the Strait of Georgia, both north and south of Nanaimo.

On Friday morning, the weather agency said conditions were also favourable in the Howe Sound and the Strait of Georgia for waterspout development. The weather agency said a cool and very unstable airmass combined with strong winds at higher elevations would conditions favourable for waterspouts over the B.C. inner south coast. The conditions were expected to persist through the afternoon.

Wind speeds inside the spray ring of a waterspout are 45 knots (83 km/h) or higher. Vessels can be at risk of damage or capsizing. Waterspouts sometimes appear as funnel clouds with swirling water visible near the surface.

Waterspouts fall into two categories, either fair weather or tornadic.

Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. Tornadic waterspouts are associated with severe thunderstorms and can be accompanied high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

Fair-weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is usually not associated with thunderstorms.

A fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward, unlike tornadic waterspouts, which develop downward in a thunderstorm, A fair weather waterspout is near maturity by the time the funnel is visible. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.

The waterspout watch ended just after 3:30 p.m. PST.  The special weather statement for east, west, north and inland Vancouver Island ended earlier Friday afternoon.


Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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