British Columbia

Hurricane Oho to impact B.C. coast

Heavy rain, strong winds for the north and central coasts — a wet weekend for the South Coast.

Heavy rain, strong winds for the north and central coasts — a wet weekend for the South Coast

The remnants of Hurricane Oho are heading toward the West Coast of B.C. (GOOES -WEST/Environment Canada)

The remnants of Hurricane Oho will make for a very wet weekend in Vancouver. But it's the central and northern coasts that will feel the full brunt of the storm — with flooding, rains and strong winds.

Oho will continue tracking towards Haida Gwaii through Thursday, funneling in tropical moisture and hurricane-force winds from Bella Coola to Stewart. 

And it's just one of several waves of moisture that will move through over the long weekend.

Where's Oho Now?

Oho is now a post-tropical storm, meaning it has lost its true tropical characteristics. The centre of the storm is about 2,200 kilometres northeast of Hawaii and will continue to track northeast through Thursday.

Oho will continue to weaken Thursday, but as it moves into the above-normal waters off the central coast of B.C., it will actually re-strengthen.

The combination of an El Nino year and the "blob" of warm water off B.C.'s coast is actually helping to make this storm stronger as it moves north — an unusual occurrence.

In fact, the last time we saw the remains of a tropical cyclone make landfall in the Pacific Northwest or Canada was the remains of typhoon Freda in 1962.

View the Central Pacific Hurricane Centre's warnings

When Will it Hit?

There's still some uncertainty as to if and where the storm will make landfall.

A couple of systems will help to steer the storm northward, meaning an Alaska landfall is likely late Friday night. But there are still a few outliers that bring the storm in earlier closer to Haida Gwaii.

Regardless of landfall though, the winds and rain will start impacting central coastal sections starting Thursday evening. Rainfall and wind warnings are already in place for hurricane force winds and high rates of rainfall.

Some mountainous areas of the central and north coast could see rates of 10 to 20 millimetres per hour — a recipe for flooding and landslides.

Waves will also be a big part of the story for the Hecate Strait. Peak wave heights of 14 metres are not out of the question.

Follow the latest watches and warnings for your area.

Forecast track for Oho from the Central Pacific Hurricane Centre.

What About Vancouver?

The South Coast will be on the edge of high impact from this event. Although it will certainty be a soggy and breezy weekend, the bulls eye of the bad weather will be much farther north.

That being said, parts of the North Shore could end up with 50 millimetres by the end of Friday and embedded thunderstorms could increase the rainfall rate to the point where localized flooding may be a possibility.

Rainfall accumulations over the next two days. Note the over 100 millimetres of rain for central and northern coastal sections. (CBC)

When Does it End?

It's just the beginning unfortunately — Oho is just one wave of many this weekend.

A new wave of moisture will follow the atmospheric river set-up (aka the pineapple express) for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Rainfall totals for the central and northern coastal sections may be over 200 millimetres by the end of the long weekend.

And the long range forecast isn't any better. Generally wet weather is on tap for B.C. for the next couple of weeks.

Welcome to Fall. 

Rainfall accumulation for Friday on the South Coast. Higher amounts for northern sections. (CBC)

About the Author

Johanna Wagstaffe

Senior Meteorologist

Johanna Wagstaffe is a senior meteorologist for CBC, covering weather and science stories, with a background in seismology and earth science. Her weekly segment, Science Smart, answers viewers' science-related questions.


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