Winter forecast for Vancouver Island has tons of storms and lots of snow

Winter forecast for Vancouver Island has tons of storms and lots of snow
WatchThe winter forecast for Vancouver Island shows a very stormy season and as Tess van Straaten tells us, we could get double our normal snowfall.

Rainy weather wasn’t stopping people from walking along the water in Victoria on Tuesday morning.

“We’re from the prairies, we don’t have to shovel the rain,” one couple told CHEK News.

“You know what, I’ll take rain over snow and -20 anytime!” another man added.

But the winter forecast for Vancouver Island and southern B.C. is actually calling for a whole lot more rain.

There’s just one word to describe the seasonal forecast — stormy.

And we have La Niña to blame.

“La Niña’s the abnormal cooling of the surface water along the equator of the Pacific Ocean and when we have that occurring it alters the jet stream pattern,” explains Accuweather senior meteorologist Brett Anderson, who specializes in Canadian forecasts.

October was already a wet one for Victoria with 94.7 millimetres of precipitation, compared to the norm of 88 mm.

Nanaimo also saw more rain than usual with 115.2 mm. The normal amount is 102.2 mm.
But the North Island took the brunt of it, with a whopping 304.6 mm last month, versus the typical 256.7 mm.

With La Niña pushing the jet stream lower, southern B.C. could be in the bulls-eye for most winter storms.

And that means not just above seasonal rainfall, but also a lot more snow for Vancouver Island.

“I think just because the sheer number of storms we have, the odds favour we’re probably looking at least 125-150 per cent normal snowfall if not 200 per cent for Victoria,” Anderson says.

Other parts of the Island, the Lower Mainland and higher elevations will likely get even more snowfall this year.

It’s good news for ski resorts but the storms will also bring a lot of wind, which may impact operations.

Driving conditions could also be more treacherous and that has WorkSafe BC launching a Shift into Winter campaign to warn employers and workers to be careful.

“When conditions on the road change, you need to drive to those conditions and slowing down will allow you to break better, keep your distance from the vehicles in front of you and make your trip safer,” says Al Johnson head of prevention services with WorkSafeBC.

Winter tires and emergency kits are also a must for those on the road.

So was the fall forecast right? Take a look:  Fall forecast for Vancouver Island warmer and wetter than normal

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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