British Columbia

Umbrellas in August? 'Unseasonably strong' rain forecast for B.C.'s South Coast

An "unseasonably strong" Pacific frontal system is expected to drench Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and parts of Vancouver Island on Thursday, according to Environment Canada.

Up to 60 mm expected for parts of Island, while Howe Sound, Lower Mainland could see up to 40 mm

As the system makes its way to Howe Sound, Whistler and parts of Metro Vancouver later this evening, it will unload 30-40 millimetres of rain and bring an increased risk of thunder activity as the front moves south.  (Andy Clark/Reuters)

An "unseasonably strong" Pacific frontal system is expected to drench Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and parts of Vancouver Island on Thursday, according to Environment Canada.

A rainfall warning is in effect for west and inland Vancouver Island, and extends over the Sunshine Coast as the front intensifies Thursday afternoon.

Up to 60 millimetres of rain is expected to fall from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River on the Island. On the Sunshine Coast, the warning extends from Saltery Bay to Powell River.

"This is a fairly unusual occurrence for this time of year, and we are expecting significant rainfall," said meteorologist Chris Emond with Environment Canada.

As the system makes its way to Howe Sound, Whistler and parts of Metro Vancouver later this evening, it will unload 30-40 millimetres of rain and bring an increased risk of thunder activity as the front moves south. 

Further warnings possible

"There's still some uncertainty with this system and how it's going to unfold. It's possible some regions could see warnings issued later on," said Emond.

The rainfall system is in stark contrast to the past few summers that brought prolonged hot, dry conditions, but Emond says it does happen periodically.

"We've had such dry summers the past few years, that in our recent memory we don't remember summers like this," he said.

Environment Canada says localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible, as well as washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts. 

The rain will end overnight or early Friday morning, but the risk of thunderstorms and gusty winds extends through Friday. 

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