NEWS

Wind warning added as big storm blows into B.C.

01/10/2014 11:03 EST | Updated 03/12/2014 05:59 EDT
B.C.'s South Coast is beginning to feel the first gusts of what may be the biggest storm it has seen since September, says CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

The Central Coast and parts of the inner South Coast will be hit with strong southeast winds Friday night, and west-to-northwest winds are predicted to sweep across West Vancouver Island, Victoria and Vancouver Saturday, Environment Canada said Friday afternoon.

A low pressure system that is approaching coastal British Columbia is deepening, and the strong winds ahead of it could be as strong as 80 to 100 km/h on North Vancouver Island and the Central Coast, while East Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast can expect winds of 60 to 80 km/h.

The winds are expected to ease and shift to southwest gusts overnight, but the associated warm front should begin dumping rain along the South Coast.

Between 10 mm to 30 mm of rain has already fallen on Vancouver since Tuesday, but Friday's storm will be bringing subtropical moisture as it taps into an atmospheric river or, in this case, a mini-Pineapple Express.

Parts of Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Howe Sound could see as much as 50 mm of rain Friday night, and higher elevation areas could see even more rain, or possibly snow — as much as 15 centimetres could fall on Whistler overnight.

Flooding is a concern with some of the heavy rain landing in areas that have received the heaviest snowfall this week. Avalanche danger will also be elevated over the weekend.

- More: Winter storm forecast to wallop B.C.

Late Saturday, another low pressure system is forecast to sweep the South Coast, and strong northwesterly winds could develop in the cool and unstable air mass.

Areas of  West Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria and Metro Vancouver exposed to the west and northwest could see sustained winds of 60 to 80 km/h and gusts of 90 to 100 km/h.

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