Series of wind storms slam Vancouver Island

Denise Titian, December 19, 2018

A series of strong winds and large waves with heavy rainfall are expected to hit the west coast of Vancouver Island today. Pictured is a wave during a storm near Ucluelet in January. (Wilson Jack photo)

Vancouver Island — 

Yet another major windstorm is set to barrel down on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Environment Canada has issued a public alert warning to coastal residents of strong winds that may cause damage.

“A developing low pressure system over the Pacific will intensify rapidly tonight as it tracks towards the B.C. coast. The low is expected to make landfall somewhere along Vancouver Island on Thursday,” warned the federal agency. “With this system, there is the potential for both damaging winds and heavy rainfall but determining which regions will be most impacted depends on the precise details of the track and timing.”

“Wind and rainfall warnings will likely be issued for some regions later today as the storm details become more certain,” reads the Environment Canada warning on Dec. 19.

A warning comes into effect when sustained winds reach 70 kilometres an hour or higher, or gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour or more.

The strong winds should strike exposed areas of the west coast of Vancouver Island this evening and are expected to ease on Thursday night.

“A developing low pressure system over the Pacific will intensify rapidly tonight as it tracks towards the B.C. coast. Exposed coastal areas along the west side of Vancouver Island can expect strong southeasterly winds of 70 to 90 kilometres an hour to develop overnight and continue on Thursday,” says Environment Canada.

For areas of southern Vancouver Island, near Juan de Fuca Strait, a very strong inflow wind will follow this weather system. Westerly winds of 70 to 90 kilometres are possible Thursday evening.

Meteorologist Tyler Hamilton reported that at least four major storms would hit coastal British Colombia in the days leading up to Christmas.

The storms are expected to bring 100 millimetres of rain in some areas of Vancouver Island.

High speed winds on Thursday bring the likelihood of power outages. The windstorm of Friday, Dec. 14 knocked out power to an estimated quarter million households in British Columbia and Washington State.

Environment Canada is warning mariners of the storm affecting west coast Vancouver Island south.

“Today, tonight and Thursday - storm warning in effect. Wind variable five to 15 knots becoming southeast 15 early this evening then increasing to southeast 25 to 35 late this evening. Wind backing to easterly 35 to 45 after midnight then veering to southerly 35 to 45 early Thursday morning. Wind becoming northwest 40 to 50 knots (74 miles per hour to 92.6 miles per hour) Thursday afternoon.

Sea waves of five to seven metres are expected, subsiding to four late this evening, then building to seven to nine Thursday morning.

The extended forecast for west coast Vancouver Island on Friday, Dec. 21 calls for wind northwest 20 to 30 knots diminishing to variable 10 to 20 in the morning then increasing to southeast 20 to 30 late in the day.

For Saturday, wind southeast 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 35 to 45 and for Sunday, Dec. 23, wind westerly 25 to 35 knots diminishing to westerly 10 to 20.

Reliable and accurate weather alerts and forecasts are issued by Environment Canada.