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Historic 'weather bomb' bringing intense winds, heavy rain to B.C.

Sunday, October 24th 2021, 8:58 pm - BC Hydro reported that tens of thousands of customers were without power at one point on Sunday evening.

A historically deep low pressure system is bringing heavy rain and strong winds to British Columbia. The severe weather will continue through Monday and residents should be prepared for power outages, downed trees, difficult travel including ferry cancellations, and the possibility of mudslides. More on the timing and the impacts of the potent storm, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2021 for an in-depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!


The potent Pacific low has undergone rapid deepening in recent days as it trekked through the ocean and met the criteria of a weather bomb — when the pressure drops 24 millibars (mb) in 24 hours — in nearly 12 hours.

Buoy 46005 recorded a pressure of 942.5 mb on Sunday afternoon, which is a new Pacific Northwest pressure record. The previous record was 943 mb, which was recorded during post-tropical cyclone Harriet in 1977.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued wind warnings for parts of Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and Howe Sound. People in the region should brace for power outages, potential ferry cancellations, an increased risk of localized flooding, high swells, and landslides as the storm passes through.

According to BC Hydro, tens of thousands of customers were without power at one point on Sunday evening.

power outage risk (1)

Winds will strengthen over the inner South Coast through Monday morning and southeasterly wind gusts of 50-90+ km/h will persist through the afternoon. The Strait of Georgia will channel the strongest winds towards eastern Vancouver Island (Comox to Campbell River), impacting ferry services.

"Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break," ECCC said in a wind warning.


There will also be high surf and dangerous waves along the West Coast accompanying the system, lingering into Monday morning, as well.


Through Monday, rainfall amounts will be excessive for some with 100-150 mm are expected for western Vancouver Island and the North Shore Mountains while 50-75 mm is anticipated for the Lower Mainland. Localized flooding and landslides are on the table in some areas as a result.


Beyond, the stormy pattern continues for the B.C. coast through next week, with a parade of storms and an atmospheric river bringing well above normal rainfall for the South Coast of B.C., along with heavy alpine snow as freezing levels drop to 1200-1500 metres.

Rainfall totals during the next seven days will be 50-100 mm for the Lower Mainland and 100-200+ mm for the higher terrain and western Vancouver Island.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the weather in B.C.

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