Update 4:15PM Tuesday – WINTER STORM WARNING FOR WEDNESDAY

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - No watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Friday 23 February 2018 - Friday night: A few flurries and rain showers ending near midnight then clearing. Low minus 3. Saturday: Sunny. Increasing cloudiness in the afternoon then 60 percent chance of showers late in the afternoon. High 7. Saturday night: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Low zero. Sunday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. High 7. Sunday night: Cloudy with 40 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Low minus 2. Monday: Cloudy. High 8. Monday night: Cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Low plus 1. Tuesday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 8. Tuesday night: Periods of rain. Low plus 2. Wednesday: Rain. High 7. Wednesday night: Rain or snow. Low plus 1. Thursday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 7.

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Update 4:15PM – Warning Issued and Timing

Below is the updated Warning statement and some predictions on timing.  The coles notes version is, drizzle or flurries should start around 3PM Wednesday afternoon.  Then assuming we are between 0 and 2°C we should see snow, possibly heavy snow, starting after 6PM. The question this becomes how long the snow lasts, how much freezing rain will occur, and when we finally switch to rain.

Here is the Environment Canada Warning.  I will put current model predictions below:

Issued at 2017-02-07 23:40 UTC by Environment Canada:
Winter storm warning changed from winter storm watch for:
East Vancouver Island, B.C. (081300)
Inland Vancouver Island, B.C. (081500)
Current details:
Hazardous winter conditions are expected.

An intense Pacific warm front will arrive late Wednesday afternoon. The front will move in from the south and spread warmer, moist air over the colder Arctic air still in place at the surface.

Snow will start falling Wednesday afternoon and become heavier into the evening. As the warm air establishes itself, there will be a good chance of freezing rain followed by significant rainfall overnight Wednesday and Thursday.

The transition to rain is expected earliest along the immediate coast. Further inland, snow will persist longer and the risk of freezing rain will increase. As a result, snowfall amounts will vary considerably across the region, from 5 cm near the coast to possibly more than 15 cm.

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.

Here is the SpotX forecast from the Canadian Model. It shows 30cm of snow, and 15mm of freezing rain with freezing rain starting after midnight and lasting through morning and rain starting noon Thursday.

The NAM has things starting earlier Wednesday, but far less snow, just as much Freezing Rain, and then the rain coming by morning Thursday.

The GFS is in the middle. 20cm of snow starting Wednesday afternoon, brief freezing rain around midnight Thursday and a bunch of rain all Thursday.

We will keep an eye on this!

 

.. original statement

IMPORTANT: Environment Canada has issed a WINTER STORM WATCH for East and Inland Vancouver Island.  This means multiple types pf severe weather are expected. In this case likely both high winds and large snowfall amounts and large rainfall amounts  are expected within 48 hours.

The watch is for Wednesday night.  Here is the text currently.

4:22 AM PST Tuesday 07 February 2017
Winter storm watch in effect for:

Inland Vancouver Island
The last Pacific storm this week is expected to arrive late Wednesday in the form of a strong warm front. The front will move in from the south and spread warmer, moist air into the region Wednesday night. With arctic air in place, there will be heavy snow initially Wednesday night along with a good chance of freezing rain. This will be followed by significant rainfall on Thursday. The greatest amount of snow and freezing rain will occur over inland sections. Freezing rain will be a particular problem for the Fraser Valley. Whistler will not feel the effects of the warm air so precipitation should remain as snow during the entire storm.

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.

Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.

As for Tuesday, it is ugly again in South Nanaimo and points south. This is VIU right now, I am not going to go in based on this.  They will release their notice on campus being open and closed just after 6AM.

The threat of snow onnhe East Island should clear by the afternoon.

The roads in Nanaimo proper look horrendous.  I would avoid the area again today.

We should only get a few flurries in Port Alberni much like we did Monday.  The main action will begin in the evening on Wednesday.

I will post more details later this morning when the models are updated or if EC updates their watch/warning status.

Stay safe out there.

 

edit: you know it is cold and snowing a lot when even the parking lot at the Ferry terminal is covered!

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