Next 3 storms to hit B.C. expected to be atmospheric rivers

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BC is coming back to a period of a parade of storms with very little break expected.

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These storms are on top of more than 200 percent above-average rainfall, says Granthshala B.C. meteorologist Christy Gordon, a region the province has already seen this fall.

Gordon said this next series of storms could put November in record-breaking territory for rain as the first three atmospheric rivers are expected.

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The first of the series will hit the coast late Wednesday, with the heaviest rainfall expected for the south coast from Wednesday night through Friday morning.

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Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement specifically for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley near the mountains. This also includes the Sea to Sky corridor and the Sunshine Coast from Gibson to Earls Cove, where 40 to 80 mm of fall is expected by Friday morning.

“This storm will be shorter-lasting and less intense than the event from November 13 to 15,” Environment Canada said in a statement.

“However, it will still bring moderate to heavy rain and strong winds. Apart from this, the freezing level will rise above the mountain peaks on Thursday. This could worsen recent floods and affect vulnerable landscapes and infrastructure.”

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Gordon said areas like Coquihalla have seen more than 25 centimeters of snow in the past few days. There is concern that moisture from the melting snow and additional heavy rainfall will affect the region, especially given the current vulnerability of the region.

A rain warning has now been issued for North Vancouver Island, where between 50 and 100 mm is likely to fall.

According to Environment Canada, the rain will begin Wednesday afternoon and continue through Thursday afternoon.

Strong winds and floods are also expected due to the already saturated land.

The Central Coast is also under a rain warning, with 30 to 50 mm of rain expected from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. The biggest concern for the region is the potential for local flooding in low-lying areas due to rain and significant snow melting due to rising levels of freezing.

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On West Vancouver Island, there is a chance of rain from Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon.

Environment Canada said, the hardest-hit areas will be the ukulele to the north, where between 100 and 150 mm is expected.

Gordon said the second atmospheric river will hit the south coast on Saturday, causing heavy rain early Sunday and a third river on deck Monday through Tuesday.

“We see an average of 20 to 30 atmospheric rivers throughout the year from October to spring, but this has been a particularly extraordinary decline to date,” she said.

—With files from Christy Gordon

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