May 12, 2021

Very local Rain Warning for Qualicum Beach – Possible Wind Storm Friday

We got a nice break from the rain overnight. The break is going to end by about 10AM this morning particularly if you are on the East side of the Island from Qualicum up to Courtenay.

Environment Canada has issued a very specific rain warning for the area between Qualicum Beach and Fanny Bay and we can see why on the UWash model.

24 hour rain total 4AM-4AM Wednesday-Thursday

I drew an arrow on the chart above pointing at the pocket of very heavy rain accumulation, up to 120mm over the next 24 hours for that specific area.  This could certainly cause some local flooding in the area and cause treacherous driving conditions on Highway 19 and 19A between Qualicum and Courtenay.

You should also notice that Port Alberni and the Valley gets signficantly less rain, as little as 16mm in the same time period as does other parts of the South Island.  

The strongest rain in the Qualicum area looks to be in the 4-7PM period (shown below) and quite strong through 7-10PM before it lets up overnight.

4-7PM Wednesday

It is worth noting for the commuting crowd there is another smaller pocket of strong showers in the Nanoose Bay area at the same time so that will be worth being prepared for.

We will get a break overnight tonight before another bout of showers will move through Thursday morning.

Friday morning storm possibility.

This picture gave me cause for pause yesterday afternoon.

That was a picture of a very large and angry storm pointing pretty directly at the Island for Friday morning.  However, the prediction was a big departure from what the model showed on Sunday night so it was best to wait.  Weather Network guy Tyler Hamilton at @50shadesofvan on Twitter posted a great little video explaining the uncertainties in the models.  So no time for an alarm yet.

So that brings us to this morning’s model run! Here they are below. I will post two periods each of sustained winds and gusts so you can see the storm approach and make landfall on Vancouver Island:

Sustained winds (click for larger)

Wind gusts:

That is still a very large and grumpy storm! The good news is the low is currently expected to make landfall on the very northern tip of the Island which may take the strongest winds to the north of Courtenay and Campbell River. Lets look at the zoomed in high resolution maps, these are gusts.

10PM to 1AM Friday
4-7AM Friday
7-10AM Friday

There look to be two waves to the storm on friday.  The first bout of wind will be in the late evening Thursday up to about 1AM as a front moves through.  The first of the three images above shows a blib of blue and red at the head of Alberni Inlet.  So we may see strong gusts at that time in the 70kph range.

The main body of the storm will hit early Friday morning. Expect ferry cabcellations on the Courtenay to Powell River routes for sure and probably other routes a little later.

Gusts off of Tofino and Ucluelet are forecast to reach 60knots, over 100kph.  It should be a little less than that for the land areas themselves.  Inside the Strait we will probably see gusts to 80-90kph with gusts to 70-80kph on land.

I included the third image because I noticed the pressure gradients, the brown lines, were quite tightly packed over Port Alberni in the 7-10AM hour. That indicates a strong pressure difference, which often indicates strong winds. So I think there is a good chance for strong winds in that period in Port Alberni.

I will post another update on this storm tomorrow to see where the models have us.

Have a great Wednesday!