Vancouver weather forecast: Special statements warn of rain and wind

Tsawwassen, BC –

Environment Canada has issued several special weather warnings and bulletins for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

A powerful storm is expected to hit the south coast on Friday morning, bringing heavy rain and high winds.

In Metro Vancouver, areas like the North Coast and Northeast, including Coquitlam and Maple Ridge, as well as Howe Sound, are expected to be hardest hit. The area is under a rain warning with up to 60 millimeters of rain in the forecast.

Forecasters suggested the storm would intensify throughout the day before turning to scattered showers on Saturday morning.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and accumulations of water on the roads. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch the taillights and be prepared to stop, ”Environment Canada wrote in its advisory.

Further inland, a winter storm warning has been issued for parts of the Fraser Canyon with heavy precipitation expected to fall as snow in some areas.

Snow is also expected between Squamish and Whistler, according to a snowfall warning issued for that area.

In the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, Hope, Abbotsford and neighboring municipalities have been advised to expect rain and gusts of wind through Saturday.

Each region of Vancouver Island has some sort of weather advisory.

Special weather reports are in effect for the central and eastern portions, with winds up to 60 km / h, gusting to 80 km / h, are expected along the Strait of Georgia.

These gusts will subside a bit, but will continue until Saturday.

Meanwhile, northern and western Vancouver Island are subject to wind warnings with wind speeds of 80 km / h and gusts of up to 100 km / h in the forecast.

“Damage to buildings, such as roof shingles and windows, can occur. Loose objects can be blown away and cause injury or damage, ”Environment Canada wrote.

BC Ferries has issued a warning to travelers that weather conditions may affect service over the weekend.

“We are closely monitoring not only wind speed, but also wind direction, wave heights and sea conditions,” said Deborah Marshall, spokesperson for BC Ferries.

Marshall reminds passengers to check the company’s website for updates on possible delays.

“I want to remind our customers that safety is our top priority and if we are canceling crossings it is for safety reasons,” Marshall said.

She says the crossings that cross the Strait of Georgia, including the busiest route from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, are the most likely to be disrupted by weather conditions this weekend.

“We are also watching the southern Gulf Islands all the way to Tsawwassen, then a little further north, we are looking at this route between Comox and Powell River, as these are the routes where it looks like the winds will affect us the most,” Marshall said. told CTV News.

BC Hydro is also monitoring the forecast, anticipating power outages on the south coast.

“We have a team of in-house meteorologists who are monitoring this weather system very closely,” said Kevin Aquino, spokesperson for BC Hydro.

“It certainly allows us to strengthen our BC Hydro teams, our contractor teams and our call center agents. So if the lights go out, we’re ready to respond, ”Aquino said.

He says the drought last summer left many trees susceptible to blowing in the wind.

“Usually during these weather events what you can see is that our crews can do just about anything, like pulling a branch off the line, attaching a wire, or doing a complete power pole replacement,” he said. he told CTV News.

Aquino urges customers to report and stay current on outages on the BC Hydro website.

He says teams are working to restore power as quickly as possible as needed.

“The priority goes to essential services like hospitals. From there we will focus on the restoration efforts that will have the best value for money, so if we are able to restore power to 5,000 customers, the priority will go there for those restoration efforts. From there, we’re going to love little power outages, ”Aquino explained.

SNOW ON THE HIGHWAY TO THE INTERIOR

A warning is also in place for a critical road connecting the interior of British Columbia and the Lower Mainland.

Environment Canada indicates that up to 30 centimeters are expected on Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton and that blowing snow will increase the risk with strong winds of up to 60 km / h.

The weather agency says the winter storm will gradually intensify with the heaviest snowfall and strongest winds expected this evening and Saturday afternoon.

Consider postponing non-essential trips until conditions improve. Visibility can suddenly be reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, sidewalks and parking lots can become difficult to navigate due to snow accumulation, ”says Environment Canada’s warning.

“Bad weather conditions can contribute to transport delays.”

With files from The Canadian Press

Dale D. Schrum