Multiple systems tracking onto the B.C. coast has kept the province quite stormy in recent days. The next round of rain will persist into the evening hours Tuesday, as a moisture-fuelled Pacific low marches through. Through Wednesday, parts of the Lower Mainland may see an additional 50-75 mm of rain, with 30-50 mm possible for portions of Vancouver Island. Winds are also intensifying for the Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands, with gusts of 70+ km/h possible. The alpine regions are in line to see more heavy snow, adding to the freshpack, which will keep the avalanche danger rating elevated. Wind, rainfall and winter storm warnings are in effect. However, the unrelenting stormy pattern will relax in the long term. Details and timing on the next systems and when to expect a much-needed reprieve from the unsettled weather, below.
Several systems will bring heavy rain, strong winds, mountain snow through mid-week
Additional rainfall amounts of 50-75 mm for parts of the Lower Mainland, 30-50 mm for portions of Vancouver Island, through Wednesday
Stormy pattern of the past two weeks will finally settle into more of a typical pattern for the next week with breaks between systems
TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: SOAKING RAINS, HEAVY ALPINE SNOW, STRONG WINDS
Multiple Pacific frontal systems will continue to bring periods of rain to the South Coast this week. Another round of heavy rain has moved in and will continue into the evening before easing overnight.
Additional rainfall amounts will be heaviest for parts of the Lower Mainland, with 50-75 mm of rain still to come through Wednesday. 30-50 mm of rain could fall on parts of western Vancouver Island, while a good soaking is also in store for Metro Vancouver, where 20-30 mm is forecast.
Greater amounts are expected in the higher elevations. There are are rainfall warnings in effect for Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound.
"Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts," Environment Canada says in the rainfall warning for Metro Vancouver.
In addition to the rain, winds will also be quite strong for portions of the South Coast.
Behind the low, strong winds will develop through Juan de Fuca Strait, with westerly winds exceeding 70 km/h in areas of Greater Victoria, near the strait, that will persist into early Wednesday afternoon. Southwesterly winds over the Southern Gulf Islands will climb to 70 km/h in the overnight and then ease on Wednesday morning. Wind warnings are in effect for the aforementioned regions.
As well, the mountain passes are getting blasted with more heavy snow. A healthy shot of snow is expected for Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass through Wednesday afternoon. Warm air moving into the region may lead to snow becoming mixed with rain tonight.
The snow will continue through Wednesday afternoon with further accumulations expected. Total snow accumulations of 20-40 cm are forecast by Wednesday morning. Winter storm warnings are in place for Boundary, Kootenay Lake and West Kootenay regions.
"Travel is not recommended. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow," Environment Canada says in the winter storm warning.
There will be a wide range in snow totals depending on elevation with very difficult to impossible travel through the mountain passes. Because of the fresh snowpack, avalanche danger ratings remain moderate to high through the mountain peaks.
ACTIVE PATTERN IN B.C. CONTINUES WITH WIDESPREAD WARNINGS
In the mountains, freezing levels will initially be low enough for snow at the ski areas and travel through the passes, but milder air will quickly send them to 1000 metres Wednesday before dropping once again for late week.
The storm impacts will linger into Wednesday, especially across the southern Interior.
LOOK AHEAD: MORE TYPICAL PATTERN SETTLES RETURNS LONG TERM
Beyond, a quieter, more typical pattern will lock in next week with breaks in between systems. Fair weather is expected Thursday, but then a relatively weak system will impact the South Coast Friday before fair weather takes over Saturday.
A weak system will move in Sunday, drying out for Monday and then a more moisture-laden system is possible into Tuesday.
A much colder pattern is expected to develop after Jan. 20th with well below seasonal temperatures likely for the final week of January.
"This could include Arctic outflow events for the South Coast and a threat for snow all the way to sea level with any systems that impact the region," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.
Check back as we continue to monitor the forecast.