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Deluge to take a pause in B.C. before next atmospheric river arrives

·3 min read
Deluge to take a pause in B.C. before next atmospheric river arrives
Deluge to take a pause in B.C. before next atmospheric river arrives

The end to November can't come soon enough for those in B.C. after a month that has seen everything from catastrophic flooding and mudslides to hefty mountain snow and even a rare tornado. The good news is the heavy rain that kick-started the weekend will ease off Sunday afternoon, giving B.C. a short-lived but much-needed break Monday. However, the next atmospheric river will target similar areas with another round of excessive rainfall beginning Tuesday. More on what's left of this atmospheric river, the impacts, and when the next is due to arrive, below.

RELATED: Southern B.C. prepares for more storms, aid pours into flood-ravaged province

SUNDAY: RAIN WILL WIND DOWN IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING, EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED

An intense Pacific frontal system will continues to give rain heavy at times Sunday morning. The heavy rainfall will taper to light showers later in the afternoon and evening.

A flood watch from the B.C. River Forecast Centre is in effect for for most of the region's watersheds, gradually expanding as the rains fall. New flood watches were issued for the Tulameen, Similkameen, Coldwater and Nicola rivers.

BCFloodAlerts
BCFloodAlerts

Given, how waterlogged the region already is, with limited prospects for being absorbed by the soil, the runoff from these prodigious downpours has nowhere to go but the region's already swollen rivers, making flooding and landslides a very real possibility.

As well, the City of Abbotsford issued an evacuation order for people in areas of Huntingdon Village.

The heaviest rain for the Lower Mainland including the Metro Vancouver area occurred late Saturday night, and will continue Sunday morning.

The current system is forecast to bring accumulative totals of 70-120 mm for Metro Vancouver, with heavier totals likely for areas near the mountains.

ABCRain
ABCRain

Soaring freezing levels will be associated with this atmospheric river event, raising the concern of further melting of the snowpack and more runoff. Freezing levels will be above 2,000 metres once again Sunday, with many high-elevation areas already having several centimetres of accumulated snow.

"Strong warming associated with this system has forced the freezing levels up well above the mountain tops. Snowmelt will contribute to runoff, increasing the risk of flooding and possibly impacting vulnerable landscapes and infrastructure," Environment and Climate Change Canada warns.

Before Saturday's deluges, the transport ministry pre-emptively closed Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet, and Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon.

A brief lull on Monday, but the next atmospheric river will target similar areas beginning Tuesday.

LONG RANGE: EXCESSIVE RAINFALL TOTALS WITH BACK-TO-BACK STORMS, AN END TO THE STORMY PATTERN IS IN SIGHT

This weekend's storm won't be the end of it either, as another potent system is expected early next week for Tuesday morning, lingering into Wednesday.

BCRainLR
BCRainLR

With the forthcoming atmospheric river, freezing levels on early Tuesday morning will initially be lower than 2000 metres, so alpine snow will be on the table. Freezing levels will then rise into Wednesday, raising the concern for additional runoff and snowmelt.

Seven-day rainfall totals of 75-125 mm are anticipated for much of the Lower Mainland, with 125-250+ mm for alpine regions and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

However, there is some good news. The unrelenting stormy pattern breaks down as we head into late week -- from Thursday to Saturday. There will be no major systems to impact the region.

Check back as we continue to monitor the ongoing storm parade across British Columbia.

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