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Bumpy ride ahead for an 'unprecedented' storm coming to B.C. this weekend

Friday, October 22nd 2021, 9:00 pm - Just as one potent system winds down, the next is already lined up for B.C. with more significant rain and strong winds forecast through the weekend.

It will be a bumpy ride ahead for British Columbia this weekend, just as one powerful system winds down and the next targets the west coast by late Saturday. While there are still some discrepancies as to where specifically the storm makes landfall and the impacts that will follow, all major computer models are in agreement that this will be a very powerful system to watch. This follows Thursday's 'weather bomb' as well, a system that has already brought significant rain and hurricane-force wind gusts to the region. More on the weekend timing, the ongoing storm parade and the potential impacts, below.


After the strong winds and at-times heavy showers of the departed system, another heavy pulse of moisture is likely during the pre-dawn hours on Saturday, with just a brief break on Saturday evening, before the next strong storm pushes in as early as Sunday.

While the actual low pressure is yet to develop, an intense and rapidly strengthening system is forecast to approach the west coast through Monday. Where it makes landfall however, is still to be determined.

"There are some critical questions that still need to be answered, as they will have huge implications for impacts to residents not only along coastal areas, but also on the Lower Mainland," says Nadine Powell, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "And while all major computer models have the storm at post peak intensity as it approaches the coast, it will still be a very strong storm."

The low is expected to first develop Saturday afternoon over 1500 km west of Vancouver. It will then rapidly intensify within 24 hours, reaching peak intensity by Sunday. Currently, two of the three major weather models track the storm closer to north Vancouver Island, while the other takes it towards the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

"History tells us that storms that make landfall farther south are more damaging to the highly populated region of the Lower Mainland," Powell adds. "But the good news with this specific model projection is that the storm is much weaker on approach."

Regardless, there will still be high surf and dangerous waves along the west coast and blustery winds accompanying the system into Monday morning as well. How far inland the strong wind make it is yet to be determined, but forecasters warn to watch for the risk of tree damage and possible power outages.

B.C. Fall Storm Impacts

It goes without saying that rainfall and high elevation snowfall intensity will also increase through Sunday and Monday.

"In essence, we'll see no let-up from the stormy conditions for the next several days," Powell says.

An additional 50-100 mm of rain is expected for west Vancouver Island through Monday, along with parts of the Lower Mainland, with some 30-50 mm possible for Metro Vancouver. Parts of Vancouver Island could even well exceed the 100-millimetre mark.

B.C. Storm Rainfall totals

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

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