With a pattern change in progress, back-to-back systems will keep conditions unsettled across British Columbia this week, with more substantial and much-needed rains in the coming days than what last week’s systems provided. Not one but two atmospheric rivers are set to bring anywhere from 50-100 mm of rainfall in the next seven days, depending on the location. There is a risk of minor flooding, depending on the terrain. For more details, read below.
MUST SEE: BC’s ‘stormy’ pattern won’t flip the switch on the current drought
This week: Next atmospheric rivers target BC coast
The first of the two events will arrive along the North Coast on Wednesday, sliding south into the Thursday.
The second will then arrive to central coastal areas by late weekend, sliding south and moving into the South Coast by Sunday.
“These events are classified as atmospheric rivers not so much due to the duration of event, but the high concentration of moisture located within them,” says Kelly Sonnenburg, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Based on the University of San Diego’s Atmospheric River scale, both situations look to be either a high end AR1 or low-end AR2 event.
While these events look to bring beneficial rains to the drought-stricken regions, too much moisture in localized areas will need to be monitored for the threat for minor flooding. The current drought conditions could lead to the grounds struggling to absorb the precipitation. On the other hand, however, drought conditions are tough to snap out of right away, and it often takes several systems to tip the balance towards a more traditional wet pattern.
Between 50-75+ mm of rain could fall with the first atmospheric river alone. Totals exceeding 100 mm look to impact the steep terrain regions.
Windy conditions will also accompany the unsettled weather at times, and snow levels between 1100-1600 metres threatens significant alpine snow and impacts to travel through the higher mountain passes.
“Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions,” says Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in a special weather statement.
Be sure to check back for the latest on the weather patterns across BC