Category Archives: Wind

Next up: Jet Stream and Atmospheric River. Special Weather Statement Issued

It has been a glorious Family Day afternoon once the fog lifted!

I hope you were all able to soak up those rays of sunshine, because in the next 24 hours it’s going to be soaking in a different way.

Here is the text from the Special Weather Statement just issued by Environment Canada for Inland Vancouver Island.

A Pacific frontal system associated with a stream of sub-tropical moisture will bring a prolonged period of rain to the BC South Coast beginning late Tuesday, along with the potential for strong winds.

Uncertainty remains concerning the development and track of this frontal system, which are important factors determining the location of heaviest rainfall and strongest winds. However, there is good confidence that heavy rain will begin late Tuesday. Coastal and west facing slopes have the potential to exceed 100 mm of rainfall from late Tuesday through early Thursday.

Freezing levels will remain above 3000 metres at the coast and many alpine areas will see heavy rain. The snowpack is expected to absorb this rain event mitigating river flooding impacts. The River Forecast Centre will be monitoring this rain event and may issue a high streamflow advisory (

At lower elevations, especially in the Fraser Valley, local low land flooding could be a concern as melting snow on the ground combines with the expected rainfall accumulations. Keep drains free of ice or debris.

Strong winds combined with heavy rain may lead to power outages.

Here is what the latest from the UWash model says about timing and intensity for Vancouver Island.

Rain is expected to begin before 1PM on Tuesday and will intensify in the 7-10PM period with up to 16mm falling in that 3 hours and every three hours from then until 7AM Thursday,

That means in that 12 hour period between 7PM Tuesday and 7AM Wednesday we could see as much as 64mm of rain.

The image below shows up to 65mm of rain (pink) falling in the 24 hours between 4PM Tuesday and 4PM Wednesday.  Or up to 130mm (black) of rain falling at higher elevations.

It will continue to be rainy and drizzly through Wednesday evening and Thursday but we should hopefully dry out for the weekend.

We might also see some gusty winds, but most of the heaviest winds seem to be focused on the North Island on Tuesday and Oregon and Washington State on Thursday.


Final UPDATE 7:30PM Winter Storm Warning ended – here are the Details on when and where.

7:30PM Friday – Winter Storm Warning is now ended.  Still plenty of rain on the way to wash this mess away…. new post Friday morning.


It is currently drizzling or raining. The moisture aloft has now all switched to rain so snow should be done but rain andnfreezing rain now the problem.

SD70 is closed.


Roads on the East Coast in Coombs look worse than the Hump.  The City has plows out and I see 6th has a good clear strip but the temperatures may still make for freezing slippery sections and side roads not cleared will be very slippery and slushy.

Take care out here.

Here is the latest from the EC Warning

All areas of the South Coast are reporting significant precipitation as a strong warm front moves into the region. Rain and freezing rain are occurring over southern sections of Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver this morning. The freezing rain will change to rain this morning as temperatures rise above freezing. Areas further north will continue to receive heavy snow this morning along with the risk of freezing rain. Further snowfall accumulations of 10 to 20 cm are expected. The snow is forecast to finally change to rain this afternoon. In addition, significant rainfalls of 20 to 30 mm are expected today after the switch over to rain.

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

11PM update The storm is here.

Snow is accumulating fast. At 10:30 I had 6cm new. I am headed to bed but here is the Winter Storm Warning for 10:30PM to carry us to morning.

Issued at 2017-02-09 06:22 UTC by Environment Canada:
Winter storm warning continued for:
East Vancouver Island, B.C. (081300)
Inland Vancouver Island, B.C. (081500)
Current details:
Hazardous winter conditions are expected.

All areas are reporting significant precipitation as a strong warm front approaches from the south. There are many reports of freezing rain over southern Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver. This freezing rain is forecast to change to rain overnight. Areas further north will experience heavy snow tonight through Thursday morning with accumulations of at least 20 cm. Significant rainfalls of 20 to 30 mm are expected Thursday after the switch over to rain.

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible.


Take care out there.


Update 5PM – Accident Hwy4 – Very cold wind – Webcams around the Island!

That wind out there is ridculously cold! The windchill feels like -5C even though the temperature is just above freezing.

Victoria is currently getting hit hardest and the East Coast also has some.  VIU is closed at 5 and we cancelled class so I drove home and witnessed a car in the ditch at Cameron Lake park.  There was some slushy snow on the road in that area.  Clearly they slid off due to speed. Please please take your time.

EC just issued their afternoon forecast.  Still up to 20cm expected overnight.

The short run models expect the snow to start again at around 6PM

UWash is a little later, it says the 9PM hour is when precipitation will begin for us

No matter what, significant snowfall and freezing rain, and rain is expected starting soon.  Victoria will be switching to freezing rain in the next couple hours. Multiple flights have been cancelled there.

The Hump is still good.  Coombs and Whiskey Creek have snow.

Here are all the webcam links.

Here are some pictures of highways around the Island.

Highway 1 at Bamberton and Nanaimo Airport

Can’t we all agree with my wife? 😉

Here is Highway 17 at Victoria Airport

And here is Highway 19 at VIU and Cooke Creek in Qualicum.

Update 1:30PM – Get Home Now

The Storm is basically here and started.  It is snowing on all parts of southern Vancouver Island.  It is worst from Victoria to just south of Duncan right now.  Malahat is treacherous.  It is also starting to stick in places on the Nanaimo Parkway. It is also starting to stick north of Qualicum

If you are planning on being on the road, I would recommend cancelling those plans.  If you are on the road, get home or to your destination ASAP.

This is only the beginning.  Remember that the real meat of this storm is not expected until late this afternoon or tonight.

Take care out there.

Here is Drive BC for

Highway 4

Highway 19

and Highway 1





11AM Update – 5cm afternoon – 15-25cm overnight!

The new Environment Canada forecast is out and they have not calmed one bit.

5cm is expected this afternoon. And then a further 15-25cm overnight including with freezing rain.  OUCH.


It took 15 minutes for this to happen on the Malahat:

Updated 10:30AM – Snow beginning in Victoria/Malahat

UPDATE 8AM – Moisture reaches Barkley Sound – UWash Model WARMS to only rain.

As you can see in my tweet above, high elevation moisture has now reached the Island.  I don’t expect this to be rain or snow on the ground yet as the radar beam there is very high altitude so will be only catching cloud moisture. (WE REALLY NEED A RADAR ON THE WEST COAST!)

However, it does indicate things are on track for possibly a slightly earlier start than the models prediction of 2PM.

The just released UWash forecast has gone warm. That is potentially good news.  It does not forecast any low-land snow at all for the storm except in the Courtenay area.

HOWEVER, the temperature at Alberniweather is still -1.8C so easily any moisture will fall as snow.

We will see if other models follow suit, and most of all, we will see what happens when the storm actually gets here.



A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued.  Depending on how close you are to the coast and how cold it remains, expect significant snow, freezing rain and rain starting this Wednesday afternoon and lasting through Thursday and even into Friday.  I will update this post throughout the day.

Click through for details.

ENVIRONMENT CANADA PREDICTS 5-15cm of Snow to fall close to the coast and 20cm or more to fall in Inland sections (Cowichan, Port Alberni, Gold River)

The latest radar picture at 5:20AM shows the system  hitting Portland, Oregon right now and soon will hit Seattle. You can see the mix of snow (blue) and rain (green).  There is also spots of heavy rain (yellow) where there is also freezing rain detected.

We should expect this storm to reach Victoria by 9AM today. That may be a blessing as it might mean we will warm up by then.  However, with so much snow in the Cowichan Valley and cold temperatures this morning, the Malahat might be very messy indeed.

If you must drive on the East Coast get it done before noon.

The latest Canadian model from last night says snow will begin around 9AM in Victoria and 1PM in Port Alberni.

It predicts 17cm of snow before the changeover to rain around 9PM tonight.

The GFS starts a little later, at 4PM but has even more snow 30cm thanks to a later change to rain Thursday morning.