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After a dry start to the winter season, parts of B.C. are dealing with heavy rain coupled with strong, gusty winds.

Series of storms bring heavy rain, snow to B.C.

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Digital writers

Thursday, January 9, 2014, 7:11 PM -

After a dry start to the winter season, parts of B.C. are dealing with heavy rain and strong, gusty winds.

In December, Vancouver saw 64.1 mm of rain -- well below the average of 139.1 mm -- but during the next five days, "some places will receive more rain than they saw during the month of December, with 50 to 100 mm forecast for the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island with higher amounts in the higher terrain," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. 

Between 10-30 mm of rain has fallen since Tuesday, with the strongest system to impact the southern coast Friday night through Saturday morning. 

"Heavy rain, strong and gusty winds (especially coast of Vancouver Island) and rising snow levels (above 1500 metres) are expected," Gillham adds. "Flooding is a concern with the heavy rain in areas that have received heavy snow (also an avalanche threat). Snow amounts above 1500 metres (lower in the Interior) will exceed 60 cm."

Gillham adds that the heavy snow will result in difficult travel through the coastal passes, but will prove beneficial for the ski areas.

On Thursday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for coastal British Columbia, warning of between 60 and 80 mm of rain.

Up to 30 mm are forecasted for the inner south coast, while higher elevations can expect locally higher amounts close to 50 mm.

The unsettled pattern for much of the province is expected to continue into early next week. 

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