LIVE BLOG: SERIES OF POWERFUL STORMS TO IMPACT COAST

UPDATE: 1100 AM PST

Storm #3 is churning up the west coast with widespread impacts stretching from California up to southern BC late this evening. Greatest threat for us will likely be brief period of strong winds through the evening/overnight... Power outages likely.

Mini Synopsis: Damaging winds are possible this evening for some high population areas of southern BC. The storm system (currently off the Oregon coast and analysed at around 974mb) will ride a potent jet streak northward and track across southern Vancouver Island overnight while weakening.

  • Rainfall totals with this storm will be generally less than the last two, as it's a fast-mover (less than 30 mm for most locations although mountains could see up to 50mm)
  • Wind....As the low pressure centre passes west of Forks, Washington, strong southerly winds will pick up ahead of the low. Greens below could mean a brief period of sustained gales for the Victoria region and Southern Gulf Islands this evening with localized gusts to 80-90km/hr:
Snapshot of the possible winds this evening, Victoria ( 7-9 pm local time) as low makes landfall over NW Washington state

Snapshot of the possible winds this evening, Victoria ( 7-9 pm local time) as low makes landfall over NW Washington state

Want to get a second opinion, Victoria? I would.

Below the high resolution UW-WRF which shows 50 knot gusts JUST offshore, tantalizingly close to The Capital: 

Fast-forward to later in the evening 9-10PM and onward  those strong southerly winds make their way up Haro Strait and are impacting several million people throughout the Lower Mainland.

As the low crosses southern Vancouver Island, it will undoubtably bring the greatest wind threat to Metro Vancouver.

 This one model below (LAM-WEST) brings widespread blues or 55-60 km/hr sustained winds through Metro Vancouver from the south, gusts will likely be higher. Sustained winds will also be stronger for Tsawwassen and Delta.

A brief push of moderate southerlies can also be expected into the Fraser valley as well with gusts to 60 km/hr+ possible for those regions late this evening, but likely below warning criteria.

The High Resolution GFS agrees showing gusts between 90-100 km/hr gusts just offshore:

Now a further strain on foilage will be an abrput change in wind direction, as winds veer towards the SW. Pinks below showing sustained winds of 40 knots just to the west of UBC:

Strong SW push forecasted around midnight local time. This model in particular is showing dangerous sustained winds through metro Vancouver and betweeen 35-40 knots or 65-75 km/hr with gusts likely 80+

Strong SW push forecasted around midnight local time. This model in particular is showing dangerous sustained winds through metro Vancouver and betweeen 35-40 knots or 65-75 km/hr with gusts likely 80+

More to come.

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I present to you the parent low, rapidly strengthening and heading towards Haida Gwaii by early Wednesday AM. Be thankful this low is well offshore.

I present to you the parent low, rapidly strengthening and heading towards Haida Gwaii by early Wednesday AM. Be thankful this low is well offshore.

Synopsis: Tonight/Tomorrow morning a low is rapidly deepening and forecasted to pass west of Haida Gwaii at an exceptional 965 mb (see image below). The trailing cold front will be the weather maker for the next 24 hours bringing strong wind ahead of the front. The system also taps into sub-tropical moisture and as the warm-front arrives ahead of the system (see left image) heavy rains will occur; consequently some concern for localized flooding and strong winds with another bout of power outages likely tomorrow. 

 

As far as winds, this event will be fairly routine for the coast, but combined with the abnormally high tides forecasted around 9 am tomorrow morning will likely pose problems for coastal communities (Comox/Campbell River)

 

10:00AM PST UPDATE

  • Winds likely peaking for the Vancouver region shortly:




8:00 PM PST UPDATE






LAM-West (18Z)

  • According to this model, winds are expected to peak ahead of the front and be sustained at gale force just in time for high tide tomorrow morning...

NAM (UW High Res)

  • Unfortunately, NAM brings strong southerly winds to Delta and Tsawwassen at around 10AM close to high tide
    • 45 knots modelled (80 km/hr gusts) 

When is high tide?

A: Just before 9AM tomorrow. 

Q: is this the highest possible tide for the region?

A: No, tides earlier in the week were a touch higher, but the tides near Christmas 2014 will approach 5.25 m or about 35 cm higher

NAM: Thursday Wind Storm?

  • Too far east for strong SE winds for #YVR, but we'd have to watch out for a westerly surge as low passes to the NE. Currently modelled to deepen to around 980 mb by the NAM
    • smaller arrows would represent strong westerly winds after the passage of the low

An excellent diagram by the folks at NWS shows the uncertainty in track with the NAM solution the track on the right:

 

GFS UW 00Z

1) Tomorrow's wind event:

  • Good agreement with NAM for 80 km/hr gusts possible through the morning for southern sections of the Lower Mainland
  • Winds up Georgia Strait will peak a little earlier 4-9am, with gusts up to 90 km/hr possible 

 

2) Thursday's Storm

  • Already coming in much further west similar to left track above, although low will be filling by the time it reaches Vancouver Island


Euro 00Z (Won't be able to show many of these graphics except WMO essential due to copyright restictions):



Storm Surge Models

1) Extra-tropical storm surge model (ETSS)

  • highlighting widespread 30-60 cm surge along Vancouver Island, at 1500z and persisting to 1800Z (during high tide)

 

Our local government agency also has an experimental storm surge model also predicting about a 50 cm surge for tomorrow at 10am, coinciding with high tides as well:

Officals are likely holding their breath in Courtenay BC, as the tidal guage in Downtown Courtenay fluctuates with the tides. The river is currently above flood stage:

    10:00 AM PST UPDATE:

    The latest run of the Canadian High Resolution model suggests sustained winds of 40-45 knots Wednesday AM, especially around #YQQ. 

    1. Rivers will already be running high (Puntledge River current Gauge @ 5th St. in Downtown Courtenay)
      1. note the doubling of flow the past 48 hours

     

    2. Storm will be hitting around an abnormally high tide (approximately 9 am tomorrow)

    3. Storm surge associated with SE winds

    This ingredients have the potential to bring localized flooding to low-lying areas of the Comox Valley and other areas around the Inner South Coast. Follow @emergencyinfoBC for the latest information. Below is a wind forecast for Wednesday AM showing sustained winds above 40 knots for the South Coast with gusts to 90 km/hr likely with this front especially for northern portions of Georgia Strait (and possibly southern sections as well).

    Georgia.png

    I'll have an update in the evening, but comment below with latest conditions and use the hashtag #BCstorm on Twitter, or tag @WeatherNetwork or @50shadesofVan

    Cheers and stay safe.

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    9:00 AM PST UPDATE

    • Taking a look at the next 24 hours, the next frontal system and heavy rains will arrive on the BC Coast, bringing similar strength winds to most regions of the South Coast as what was felt early Tuesday morning. 
    • Atmospheric River event continues during the next 24-36 hours with intense rain bands moving ashore. See for yourself:
    Good moisture transport out of the topics (Number two is second wave expected to arrive on the BC Coast early Wednesday AM. Rainfall rates will be in excess of 10 mm/hr of VAncouver Island early Wednesday AM

    Good moisture transport out of the topics (Number two is second wave expected to arrive on the BC Coast early Wednesday AM. Rainfall rates will be in excess of 10 mm/hr of VAncouver Island early Wednesday AM


    8:50 AM PST UPDATE

    Several unconfirmed reports of rainfall totals in excess of 100+ mm already for portions of Vancouver Island, including 120mm today at Captain Meares Elementary School in Tahsis. Incredible totals, as they event just begins.

    Yes, these won't even be close to the 3 day storm totals which could approach 300 mm for several weather sensors on Vancouver Island

    HEAVY Rains about to move into the lower mainland:

    Simulated 9AM rain:

    Current Radar:

    Notice the similarities of the above simulation, showing the excellent handle the high resolution rapid refresh model has on the developing situation

    Notice the similarities of the above simulation, showing the excellent handle the high resolution rapid refresh model has on the developing situation

    11:30PM PST UPDATE:

    *Somewhat concerned about high tides for Wednesday AM, coinciding with strong SE winds, but there's inherent error 48 hours out.  Cherry Point is currently monitored to have a .75m surge at high tide which would bring localized flooding

    Some American Guidance also agrees with the Canadian storm surge model above:



    730PM PST UPDATE

    • The most advanced rapid refresh model in the world is also indicated very heavy rains, even by B.C. standards, so confidence is medium-high, but it's tempting to call these amounts overdone...
    • Heaviest Rains will move in AFTER midnight local time

    If you think you're experiencing the heaviest rains now, you're mistaken. Take a look at a simulated radar for pre-dawn hours for Tuesday:


    7:15PM PST UPDATE

    gusts up to 90km/hr already being reported in Georgia Strait (Sister's Island)

    gusts up to 90km/hr already being reported in Georgia Strait (Sister's Island)

    6:00PM PST UPDATE

    • Just another way to view the 3 storms approaching the B.C. coast. The diagram below is read right to left, with the darker greens representing more moisture. Two potent South'easter's with more uncertainty in the third...


    5:30PM PST update

    • 3 strong frontal systems still forecast to impact Vancouver area over the next 72 hours, bringing some of the heaviest rains and strongest winds of the year
      • The third system bears watching on Wednesday/Thursday for the strongest winds but some uncertainty remains
    Note the higher cloud tops (cooler temperatures over the south coast right now) 

    Note the higher cloud tops (cooler temperatures over the south coast right now) 

    Rain Totals:

    Highest amounts in red, and show nearly 10 cm of rain in a 24 hour period of the North Coast and Sunshine Coast, and western portions of Vancouver Island

    Highest amounts in red, and show nearly 10 cm of rain in a 24 hour period of the North Coast and Sunshine Coast, and western portions of Vancouver Island

    • These are very impressive totals and most certainly will cause localized flooding and possibly more serious flooding if these totals verify as forecasted
      • Rivers will not likely crest until late in the day on Wednesday or even early Thursday
    • Unfortunately freezing level is to high for snow for all major resorts in BC, but will liekly fall by Thursday to below 1200 metres which is a relief. 

    LAM-WEST Precip:

    Very rarely do you see so much grey in these maps in 24 short hours. Grey tones indicating in excess of 150 mm. SW flow is obvious as the rain shadow is noteworthy in the SE corner of the diagram with totals SE of Victoria only a couple of mm

    Very rarely do you see so much grey in these maps in 24 short hours. Grey tones indicating in excess of 150 mm. SW flow is obvious as the rain shadow is noteworthy in the SE corner of the diagram with totals SE of Victoria only a couple of mm


    Wind:

    • Widespread wind warnings in effect by Environment Canada with gusts up to 90km/hr for the South Coast and 110 km/hr for the Central Coast.

    Latest high resolution model guidance is suggesting this for wind:

    Wind likely peaking overnight 10pm-1am for portions of Georgia Strait, with stronger winds south of Richmond and Victoria through the overnight

    Wind likely peaking overnight 10pm-1am for portions of Georgia Strait, with stronger winds south of Richmond and Victoria through the overnight

    Doe the Canadian high resolution models agree?

    Yes. HIgh confidence in the strongest winds between 10pm-2AM local time. Power outages are very likely, unfortunately.

    Visualize this as a snapshot of the winds at midnight local time (08Z). Notice the pinks in Northern Portions of Georgia Strait and the very strong winds SE of Victoria. 40 knots= 75 km/hr with gusts likely to 90 km/hr

    Visualize this as a snapshot of the winds at midnight local time (08Z). Notice the pinks in Northern Portions of Georgia Strait and the very strong winds SE of Victoria. 40 knots= 75 km/hr with gusts likely to 90 km/hr