Heavy rain and flooding risk continues into Thursday for B.C.

·2 min read
Heavy rain and flooding risk continues into Thursday for B.C.
Heavy rain and flooding risk continues into Thursday for B.C.

A risk for flooding continues across southwestern British Columbia as the tail-end of another impactful atmospheric river washes over the region. The combination of heavy rainfall, melting snowpack, and weakened infrastructure from the destructive November atmospheric rivers are all contributing to the ongoing risk for flooding across the South Coast and Vancouver Island this week. More on the timing and impacts, below.

INTO THURSDAY: FLOOD THREAT CONTINUES AMID HEAVY RAIN, SNOWMELT

The final burst of moisture associated with this atmospheric river will continue to bring steady rainfall to the South Coast and Vancouver Island through the first half of the day on Thursday.

BCrain
BCrain

We could see an additional 30-50 mm of rain through the end of the week across the Lower Mainland, including Metro Vancouver, while higher totals are likely along southwestern Vancouver Island and the Coastal Mountains. We could see an additional 50-100 mm of rain through Thursday in these higher elevations.

Heavy rain isn’t the only force driving the risk for flooding across the South Coast. This system pushed warmer temperatures into the province, causing a substantial rise in freezing levels. The sudden warm-up and rainfall combined will lead to rapid snowmelt for some higher elevations. This one-two punch of heavy rain and runoff from snowmelt could push some waterways over their banks.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory and says areas that experienced flooding in November may be more vulnerable for flooding once again, due to erosion and higher baseflow conditions.

"The public is advised to stay clear of the fast‐flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high‐streamflow period," the advisory reads.

WATCH | DAMAGING FLOOD EVENTS ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON – AND MORE COSTLY

Click here to view the video

Thursday will also see an elevated risk for avalanches across the B.C. mountains. A considerable avalanche risk covers the Coastal Mountains and interior Vancouver Island, while a high avalanche risk will span many of the mountains across the Interior.

westAv
westAv

While January is typically known as a wet month in Vancouver with an average of 160 mm of rain, the rainfall this week alone may end up pushing the region close to its monthly average rainfall.

BCJan
BCJan

In addition to making sure appropriate emergency supplies are on hand, residents should clear snow from catch basins to reduce the risk of localized flooding.

Beyond, a much drier pattern will move into the region for the end of the week and continue through the middle of next week. We’ll also see an extended break from significant snow and ice for the South Coast. However, winter is not over – colder than seasonal temperatures are expected to return for February.

Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest forecast updates across B.C.

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