The latest atmospheric river to reach British Columbia has prompted a series of weather warnings for the southern coast and interior of the province.
The storm is expected to drench parts of Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound with up to 70 mm of rain between Thursday and Friday, with the heaviest amounts predicted over higher terrain.
“Rain is expected this morning and will intensify this evening,” Environment Canada said in a warning early Thursday.
The weather agency noted that heavy rain “may cause flooding and waterlogging on roads,” and localized flooding is possible in low-lying areas.
BC’s River Forecast Center has also issued high flow advisories for the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Central Coast.
“River levels are expected to rise for the Central Coast from Thursday to Friday
Vancouver Island, and Friday for the South Coast,” the advisory reads.
“The public is advised to stay away from fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks
During periods of high flow.”
Heavy snow is forecast for several other parts of the province – including the Sea to Sky Highway, Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3 and Highway 97.
Environment Canada expects 15 to 20 cm of accumulation in many areas, which could cause hazardous driving conditions.
“Southwesterly winds will further reduce visibility with blowing snow,” the warning for the eastern Fraser Valley read. “Be prepared for rapidly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Rapid snow accumulation will make travel difficult.”
Blizzard warnings are also in place for Nechaco, Prince George, 100 Mile House and Caribou.
The Ministry of Public Safety encourages motorists to check DriveBC for current conditions before traveling in “adverse weather”.
Officials said drivers should have an emergency plan, full tank of gas, windshield scraper, brush, food, water, first-aid kit and other emergency supplies when exiting.
Winter tires or chains are also required on most roads in the province between October 1 and April 30.
The latest storm comes exactly one week after the region faced its first atmospheric river following a period of severe drought.
With files from Reagan Hasgawa of CTV News Vancouver