There are two more atmospheric rivers in British Columbia’s forecast over the coming days, though neither is expected to be as intense as the one that triggered widespread flooding and landslides last week.
Environment and Climate Change Canada said those atmospheric rivers, expected to arrive on the South Coast on Thursday and Saturday, are part of a “parade of storms” approaching as several communities remain flooded in the province’s southwest.
“We’re not looking at necessarily the same copious amounts (of rain) as we saw two weekends ago, but we are looking at a very strong signal throughout the weekend, and through next week we continue to have active storms,” said Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
The first weather system is expected to deliver rain and warm tropical air Thursday, potentially resulting in snow melt at higher elevations. Castellan said upwards of 100 millimetres is expected on the North Shore Mountains, while parts of the Fraser Valley could see between 40 and 75 millimetres.
A short break is anticipated before the next atmospheric river arrives on Saturday afternoon.
Atmospheric rivers are defined as long, narrow streams of high water vapour concentrations that can deliver intense amounts of rainfall over a short period. The one that hit last week dumped a month’s worth of rain onto some areas of B.C. in less than 48 hours.
This summer’s intense heat waves and years of destructive wildfire seasons have increased the likelihood of landslides and flooding, Castellan added, noting that some parts of the South Coast have also seen upwards of 200 per cent of their normal rainfall this season.
“So a lot of that moisture that is coming is more immediately a runoff issue,” he said.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has been working with Emergency Management B.C. for days providing the most up-to-date predictions, the meteorologist said, but it’s difficult to pinpoint where natural disasters such as landslides might hit.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday morning, Deputy Premier Mike Farnworth said the government is bracing for the upcoming storms, and encouraged the public to keep abreast of weather warnings and alerts in the meantime.
There were no warnings in effect for the Lower Mainland as of early Monday afternoon.
Experts have warned that extreme weather events like the ones B.C. has experienced this year are likely to become more common – and more destructive – as global temperatures rise as a result of human-caused climate change.
“Climate change is here and I think what we saw this past weekend is obviously a result of that,” Farnworth said. “We know that climate change is upon us. We know that there are more and more of these events happening.”
On Saturday, officials confirmed that Environment and Climate Change Canada is working on a new ranking system to warn people about the severity of incoming atmospheric rivers.
Farnworth said the ranking, which is expected to launch in January, will allow officials to “prepare more effectively” for potential disasters.
Messi claims record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or
Pfizer CEO: Already working on COVID-19 vaccine targeting Omicron
Jury seated in trial of Jussie Smollett, ex-‘Empire’ actor
WHO warns that new virus variant poses ‘very high’ risk
G7 health ministers closely monitoring new Omicron variant of COVID-19
World1 week ago
Third night of violence in Guadeloupe as France sends police special forces
Europe6 days ago
Explosion at Missile Factory Near Belgrade Reportedly Kills 2, Injures 16 – Video, Photo
Middle East7 days ago
Kuwait’s Emir reappoints Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid as Prime Minister
U.S6 days ago
Homicide Count in US Capital Reaches 200 for First Time Since 2004, Report Says
Middle East5 days ago
UAE Major General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi elected as new Interpol President
U.S5 days ago
All 3 defendants found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery
Middle East1 week ago
Expo 2020 Dubai visits pass the four million mark
Middle East7 days ago
Israel PM Bennett signals readiness to escalate Iran confrontation amid nuclear talks