Friday, November 26th 2021, 7:50 pm - Rainfall warnings are in effect, some highways were closed preemptively and Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued its first-ever red level alert ahead of the incoming deluge.
The second of three back-to-back-to-back atmospheric river systems is sliding southward down the B.C. coast, and will be ramping up its effects on the South Coast by Saturday morning – bad news for the areas still reeling after the extreme rains earlier this morning. On this system's heels will be yet another such system, and in all B.C. is looking at a very wet weekend. More on the timing and impacts, below.
THE WEEKEND: SECOND SYSTEM RAMPS UP
After a brief break Friday afternoon, the next system is set to ramp up its effects on the South Coast after its overnight arrival from the north.
A Flood Watch from the B.C. River Forecast Center is in effect for the South Coast and Lower Fraser Valley regions, given, how waterlogged the region already is – with limited prospects for being absorbed by the soil, the runoff from these prodigious downpours has nowhere to go but the already swollen rivers.
Rain is set to begin for most areas on Saturday morning, though the heaviest amounts are expected to fall through Saturday night. Between 50-100+ mm is forecast from Saturday to Sunday morning, though some areas won't see the back of this system completely until Monday morning.
Heavier totals will be likely for areas near the mountains. Squamish may see up to 120 mm fall – and in all, totals from this system will be slightly higher than the one that just departed.
Worsening matters, freezing levels will be above 2,000 metres for much of the weekend, with many high-elevation areas already having several centimetres of accumulated snow.
"Strong warming will accompany this system causing snow levels to rise well above the mountain tops Saturday afternoon," Environment and Climate Change Canada warns. "Snowmelt will contribute to run off, increasing the risk of flooding and possibly impacting vulnerable landscapes and infrastructure."
On Friday afternoon, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued its first-ever red level alert for the region due to the excessive rain on top of what's already fallen. Ahead of Saturday's deluges, the Transport Ministry announced it was pre-emptively closing Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet.
WATCH BELOW: OFFICIALS IN B.C. HURRY TO REPLACE SANDBAGS AHEAD OF NEXT STORM
LONG RANGE: EXCESSIVE RAINFALL TOTALS WITH BACK-TO-BACK STORMS
This weekend's storm won't be the end of it either, as another potent system is expected early next week for Tuesday into Wednesday.
Seven-day rainfall totals of 75-125 mm are anticipated for much of the Lower Mainland, with 125-250+ mm for alpine regions and the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Check back as we continue to monitor the ongoing storm parade across British Columbia.