Strong winds expected to start blowing in parts of B.C.

Strong winds are predicted for parts of B.C. today, including Greater Victoria, the Fraser Valley and East Vancouver Island, from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River.

'High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break,' warns Environment Canada

Up to 90-kilometre winds are expected to pick up across the province today. This image is from an interactive map of global weather events developed by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the University of Colorado. It's available here at this link: (CIRA/NOAA)

Strong winds are predicted for parts of B.C.'s South Coast today, including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast.  

Areas deemed at "significant risk" of wind damage could see gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour.

BC Hydro says it is preparing for the storm, which is expected to bring down tree branches and interrupt hydro service.

"We do have a team of in-house meteorologists that track storms for us so we know about them before they hit. That's allowed us to ramp up our hydro crews our contractor crews as well as our call centre staff ," said BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott.

"We always encourage people to be prepared. They should have an emergency kit with things like a flashlight, extra batteries, food water first aid kit," she said.

The strong southerly winds are caused by a low pressure system over the Pacific which is expected to intensify as it approaches the B.C. South Coast.

Exposed parts of west Vancouver Island could see even stronger winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour with the front expected to make landfall in the Tofino area first, and move across Vancouver Island to just north of Port Alberni.

Winds are expected to ease by this afternoon.