'Atmospheric river' forecast to bring 'wet and windy' weekend to B.C.'s South Coast

Chief Meteorologist, Mark Madryga says there is heavy rain on the way.

Residents of B.C.’s South Coast are being warned to prepare for a “wet and windy” weekend.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement covering Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound and Whistler, the Sunshine Coast and eastern, western and inland Vancouver Island.

“The first of the two systems will move onshore Friday morning and the rain will be heavy rain, at times through Sunday morning,” Global BC meteorologist Kristi Gordon said.

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The weather agency is forecasting between 75 and a whopping 150 millimetres of rain over a two-day period from Friday to Sunday morning.

Environment Canada says a pair of frontal systems are expected to arrive packed with moisture “associated with an atmospheric river flowing from the southwest off the Pacific Ocean.”

The system is expected to be accompanied by strong southeasterly winds.

“As is often the case with atmospheric rivers, this will be a wet but mild flow. That means freezing levels will climb significantly and any snow on the mountains will melt,” Gordon said.

“I know this is sad news for excited skiers but our biggest concern is getting the word out there that the rivers will be incredibly swollen and potentially dangerous.”

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Environment Canada is also warning that rising freezing levels could create snowmelt on Saturday that could engorge streams or cause localized flooding.

“There is a fair amount of uncertainty with the timing and location of these two systems and how long the break will be between them, if any,” Environment Canada said.

“Warnings will likely be issued closer to the event.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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