Mother Nature is blowing hard across much of Vancouver Island, and residents can expect wind and certainly rain for the foreseeable future.
Environment Canada issued wind warnings for both the east and west coasts of the Island shortly after 11 am Thursday.
“Another in a series of intense low pressure systems will bring strong south to southeast winds of 80 km/h gusting to 100 beginning after midnight,” an alert for the west coast states. “Winds will diminish below criteria but remain strong near midday on Friday in the wake of the low. Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage.
A wind warning for Duncan to Nanaimo was issued Thursday afternoon, advising that “strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring” and will continue into the early evening Friday.
Meanwhile, the east coast between Campbell River and Nanoose can expect strong southeast winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 beginning late tonight.
And with the wind comes notice that the rain is here to stay.
Armel Castellan, a warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada, said storms are expected to continue on and off through next week until “right on the doorstep of Christmas.”
“We shifted on Sunday from a very benign ridge pattern where we had those crisp mornings with frost on the ground for much of the island to a very stormy pattern. That’s kind of the theme of the week, and that’s going to be the continued theme for a little while now. We’re going to see on and off storms including today and tomorrow. Saturday there’s a bit of a break, but then Sunday and Monday we continue with this pattern,” Castellan said.
While the storms should abate in a week to 10 days, there has been 50 millimetres of rain in the last 48 hours.
The weather system is different from the storms of late November, Castellan said, because they’re not atmospheric with a tropical origin. Instead, the zonal flow brings “a parade of storms, one after the other.”
The storms also bring wind, expected for most of Friday, then again on Sunday into Monday.
November, December and January are the months Victoria sees the most precipitation and wind, Castellan said. December usually gets 140mm of precipitation. Since the first week of the month was dry and the last part of the month is expected to be drier again, the weather is on track to be close to the average rainfall.
Cpl. Chris Manseau of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP said they had a couple of days of collisions last week when the weather was cooler.
“People rushing to the ferry, the Wain Road overpass on the highway was a little icy,” he said. “It’s always the driver’s responsibility. It’s wintertime, weather patterns change. Drive appropriate for the weather.
Manseau added that the recent warmer and wetter weather has brought more reports of water pooling on roads. There have been collisions with pedestrians in Sidney this month, and Manseau said the responsibility is on both drivers and pedestrians to stay safe.
“If you see anybody that you feel is driving unsafe for the road conditions, please contact us. We want to speak with those drivers who may be causing unsafe situations for other drivers, pedestrians or anyone else out there,” Manseau said.
Castellan said he encourages people to follow the forecast and keep an eye on the wind warnings — currently for both eastern and western Vancouver Island.
Elevated highway passages could also see some freezing this winter, so Castellan added drivers should have winter preparedness kits ready, especially if travelling across the island.