rain, floods
© Wayne Leidenfrost/PNG
Heavy rain causes a traffic hazzard for drivers along 12th Avenue in Vancouver.
A rainfall warning remained in effect in Metro Vancouver and much of British Columbia into Saturday. Extreme weather is expected to batter most parts of the province throughout the weekend according to warnings issued by Environment Canada.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre issued extreme avalanche warnings for several places including The Kootaney Boundary, Whistler Backcountry and the South Coast Inland. Parks Canada has issued a statement cautioning people to stay away from back country slopes. Skiers and snow boarders are urged to stick to designated trails.

The main cause of the turbulence across the province is a very strong Pacific system wrapped across the North-central coast of B..C combined with an intense warm front that is spreading copious moisture across the province, said Environment Canada meteorologist Greg Pearce.

The full brunt of this weather system is being felt by the Central Coast and North Vancouver where wind speeds are expected to reach speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour.

Further south, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are experiencing strong 70 to 90 km/hr winds.

A rainfall warning is in effect for the Central Coast Islands, Vancouver Islands, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver with up to 50 to 100 millimetres of rain forecast for the weekend.

Some parts of West Vancouver Island are forecast to receive up to 150 mm of rain over the weekend. Tofino, for instance, will receive 30 to 40 mm of rain during the day on Saturday and 50 to 70 mm overnight.

The warm front has raised the freezing temperature to 2000 metres, so it's mostly rain and wind that people will have to contend with, said Pearce.

Snowfall, however, is expected through the day in the region near Stewart inland on the North Coast with snowfall accumulations likely reaching 20 centimetres.

Heavy snow is also expected to fall in the mountain passes in the central interior, changing to rain over Pine Pass by Saturday evening.

A special weather statement has been issued for Highway 97 near Pine Pass and Highway 16 from Smithers to Terrace where 15 to 25 centimetres of snow is expected to fall through Saturday night.

The winds are expected to ease by Saturday evening and clouds may break up by Sunday afternoon with the passing of the front, said Pearce.

Stormy weather along the coast has so far led to the cancellation of BC Ferries sailings along the route from Comox (Little River) to Powell River (Westview). So far, the 5:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Comox departures and the 7:45 a.m. and 12.15 p.m. Powell River departures have been cancelled.

Until further notice, the sailing between Denman and Hornby islands is operating on a "drop and go" schedule.

In Tsawwassen, a flood advisory and storm warning have been cancelled.

In a news release Sunday morning, the Corporation of Delta said it closed its emergency operations centre and lifted the flood advisory for the Beach Grove and Boundary Bay neighbourhoods because winds and rain have diminished.

The winds did not reach forecasted speeds and there was no flooding, although there was an extremely high tide, the release says. Engineering staff continue to monitor the weather conditions.

Source: The Vancouver Sun