NEWS
11/12/2015 09:42 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

B.C. storm to bring heavy rain, gusty wind

Environment Canada weather warnings remain in place for much of B.C. as a cold front sweeps across the province Thursday morning, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and rising snow levels.

After heavy rain and wind gusts over 90 km/h hit the North and Central Coast overnight Wednesday, the front will continue to track towards the South Coast today for one of our biggest storm so far this season.

This system is known as an atmospheric river — also known as a pineapple express — a narrow weather system that directs concentrated moisture from sub-tropical regions to the South Coast in this case.

From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.:

Winds will begin to pick up and showers will become heavier through the morning hours for much of Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and the North Shore.

But southern areas of the city will likely only see showers thanks to a rain shadow for places like Richmond, White Rock and Delta.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Heavy rain will likely continue to fall for northern and eastern sections of the South Coast for most of the day.

Winds will be strongest during the early afternoon in Metro Vancouver, which could see up to 70 km/h gusts.

The winds will be coming in from the south, so south-facing exposed areas of the city will be under the greatest risk for any power outages. 

The coasts of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are under a wind warnings, with gust over 90 km/h forecast through the day. 

Thursday overnight and Friday morning

The rain will continue as the cold front slows down over the South Coast through the late evening hours.

Friday morning will be wet, but at this point it looks like the showers could taper off for the end of the week.

Total rainfall amounts will be between 20 mm for southern sections of Vancouver, to move than 100 mm for the North Shore and Fraser Valley.

What about the snow?

This system will start off bringing snow to the South Coast mountains, with highway passes possibly picking up a few extra centimetres tomorrow morning.

But as the warm air arrives with the pineapple express, freezing levels will rise and snow will change to rain at some elevations.

Elevations above 1400 metres will likely still see snow — so good news for the alpine of Whistler.