Atmospheric forecast of the river in British Columbia days after the temperature records and the drought

VANCOUVER – An atmospheric river containing “narrow bands of heavy precipitation” is predicted for parts of British Columbia just a week after numerous high temperature records were set amid drought.

A bulletin issued by the Department of Public Safety warns that residents of the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the North and Central Coasts can expect stormy weather through Halloween.

He points out that at the end of a drought, this influx can cause flooding, even if extreme weather events, such as the catastrophic rains of last November, are not expected.

The ministry statement said the central coast could see between 50 and 100 millimeters of rain by Thursday, while 40 to 80 millimeters are forecast for Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Vancouver’s north shore mountains.

Environment Canada has also issued wind warnings for the Central Coast and the Chilcotin region, but the weather office predicts heavy rain will miss the southern interior.

The ministry says the River Forecast Center monitors weather and river conditions to detect flood risk, while Emergency Management BC works with communities to prepare for possible flooding.

People in low-lying areas are told to prepare for possible flooding by moving equipment and other possessions to higher ground, and to make a carry-on bag with essentials for each member of their household if they are forced to evacuate.

A series of atmospheric rivers over several days last November washed out highways, flooded homes and farmland and caused landslides that killed five people.

Many areas expecting heavy rains have been experiencing record dry conditions and high temperatures for several weeks.

The province warned residents earlier this month to be prepared for flooding, as prolonged dry weather or drought can increase runoff and river flow.

Dry soil doesn’t absorb water as well, he said, so people living near rivers or streams should closely monitor weather and river conditions during the transition to wet weather.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2022.


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