Mudslides, flooding underway in B.C. amid 100-200 mm of rainfall

·3 min read
Mudslides, flooding underway in B.C. amid 100-200 mm of rainfall
Mudslides, flooding underway in B.C. amid 100-200 mm of rainfall

A major atmospheric river is flowing through B.C., and will drop substantial amounts of rainfall on the coastal sections through Monday. Rainfall warnings are in effect, with 100 mm forecast for Metro Vancouver through Monday afternoon, while more than 200 mm is anticipated for higher-elevation areas of the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. While the snow has switched over to rain on the mountain passes, travel will still be difficult as slushy road conditions will be present. As well, winds will be potent on the mountain passes Sunday, then ramping up Monday for the coastal and Interior regions. Details and timing, below.

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SUNDAY: ATMOSPHERIC RIVER PUSHES IN EXTREME RAINFALL, WINDS PICK UP

B.C. is on the receiving end of a potent atmospheric river, absorbing moisture from the deep tropics near the Hawaiian Islands. Between 75 to 100 mm is forecast for Metro Vancouver through Monday afternoon, while more than 200 mm is anticipated for higher-elevation areas of the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.

rainfx (1)
rainfx (1)

A warm frontal boundary will lift across the South Coast by Sunday afternoon, which will allow for the heaviest rain to occur across many areas including the Lower Mainland. Rainfall warnings are currently in effect for much of Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and southern Interior.

"This could result in possible washouts, debris flow and pooling water. Local river levels will rise and river flows will increase as a result of the heavy rain. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts," says Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in the warning.

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The Government of B.C. issued flood watches at 3:00 pm PST on Sunday for the Fraser Valley including surrounding tributaries, Fraser Canyon tributaries, including tributaries around Hope, Chilliwack River and Englishman River.

According to DriveBC, a mudslide resulted in the closure of the Coquihalla highway in both directions on Sunday.

On the mountain passes, snow has transitioned to rain as freezing levels continue to rise, allowing for wet, sloppy conditions for some of the higher elevations. Travel will still be difficult as a result.

bcwind
bcwind

As well, the winds are going to continue to be blustery through the morning and afternoon hours Sunday on the mountain passes. Gusts of 40-60 km/h are expected and will diminish in the evening hours.

With the strong low moving into the Interior, there is a high power outage risk developing throughout Monday for some due to the potential for gusts up to 80 km/h.

poweroutagerisk
poweroutagerisk

Monday will see winds ramp up again in the morning in the Strait of the Georgia, southern Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and the Interior. Gusts will reach 50-70 km/h.

The heavy rain will ease on Monday as the cold front pushes the precipitation out of the region.

Beyond, a bit of a break from the precipitation and a drier pattern for mid- and late this week with cooler than seasonal temperatures through mid-week, then becoming milder late week.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the ongoing parade of systems in B.C.

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