Environment Canada issues warning with heavy rains in the forecast for southwest B.C.

Heavy rains and strong winds are in the forecast for much of B.C.'s coast and Vancouver Island this weekend. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Heavy rains and strong winds are in the forecast for much of B.C.'s coast and Vancouver Island this weekend. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Environment Canada has issued public alerts for severe weather on much of the B.C. coast and Vancouver Island because of an atmospheric river settled over the region.

The weather service is advising caution on the roads and at rain-soaked homes with heavy rain and strong winds forecasted.

Rainfall warnings are in place for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound, West Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and Whistler. Special weather statements cover Central and East Vancouver Island.

"An atmospheric river has set up over the B.C. South Coast this weekend. Rain at times heavy will continue [Sunday]," the weather service said of the region's conditions Sunday morning.

"Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts."

The inclement weather began on Vancouver Island and the Central Coast Saturday night and continued into Sunday. The Lower Mainland is expected to see up to 50 millimetres of rain, with even more along the North Shore mountains and Howe Sound.

Meteorologist Bobby Sekhon is advising motorists to drive with care and for homeowners to be prepared.

"So just take it easy on the roads there," Sekhon said. "There can be some power outages. So keep your emergency kit handy.

"Very important, is to keep your storm drains in your neighborhood cleared up."

He said Environment Canada may add or modify its advisories throughout the weekend. He added the rainfall is not expected to cause serious, widespread flooding like the disastrous atmospheric rivers of November 2021.

Environment Canada says the weather should ease up by Monday.