Environment Canada forecasts more rain for southwest B.C., avalanche warning in place for Interior

Environment Canada forecasts more rain for southwest B.C., avalanche warning in place for Interior

No weather warnings or watches were posted across British Columbia for the first time in weeks, and flood watches have ended along the south coast. Still, backcountry conditions remain treacherous in the Interior, and Environment Canada says more heavy rain is on the way.

The past week's storms have led to dangerous conditions in the mountains of B.C. Interior, leading Avalanche Canada and Parks Canada to issue a special public avalanche warning covering most of the Columbia Mountains, Glacier and Mount Revelstoke national parks, along with the northern Rockies.

“The snowpack is currently in a precarious state,” Avalanche Canada forecaster Simon Horton said in a news release.

“The storm cycles that hit western Canada over the past weekend added significant snow on top of an exceptionally weak lower snowpack. This has brought the conditions to a tipping point where dangerous avalanches are likely.”

Communities around the Georgia Strait are also keeping a close eye on sea levels as more exceptionally high tides are due over the next several days, including Wednesday's high of 4.9 metres in Vancouver and 5.7 metres in West Vancouver.

That's slightly below the peak reached early Tuesday when parts of Vancouver's seawall and some low-lying streets were briefly awash, although no major damage was reported.

The River Forecast Centre has ended flood watches across Vancouver Island and the south coast, while a high streamflow advisory remains in effect for the Fraser Valley.

Data from the weather office shows Vancouver recorded about 100 millimetres of rain since Christmas Eve and river forecasters say the rain, warmer temperatures and melting snow from pre-Christmas storms have the potential to cause flooding in low-lying regions.

In the River Forecast Centre's three-tiered warning system, a flood watch means river levels are rising and flooding might occur. It is preceded by a high stream-flow advisory, the lowest of the three levels, which indicates minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.


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