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Vancouver Island braces for 3 more storms in 7 days

Government weather agency tracking multiple atmospheric rivers heading for B.C.
Vehicles kick up a spray as they drive through pooling water during heavy rains on Nov. 15. Less severe but back to back storms are forecast to affect the Island this week. (Don Denton/News Staff)

Shake out your umbrellas and dust off your boots – more rain is slated for Vancouver Island in the coming days.

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Black Press Media spoke with Lisa Erven, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, to understand the scale of the stormy weather headed towards Vancouver Island over the next week.

According to Erven, at least three more atmospheric rivers are forecast to hit the coast of B.C. over the next seven days, with parts of the Island in their path. While the forecast isn’t as dire as it was from Nov. 13 to 15, Environment Canada is asking residents to be cautious as heavy rain hits for days in a row.

The first storm is predicted to impact north and west Island communities on Wednesday (Nov. 24) morning, with rain moving down to Nanaimo and Greater Victoria in the afternoon. Wet conditions will continue until Thursday night, with around 20 millimetres of precipitation predicted to fall over the course of the storm.

After a day’s break, a second atmospheric river will bring at least 20 mm of rain to the Island starting overnight Friday (Nov. 26) or early Saturday (Nov. 27) and continuing through the weekend.

“It’s hard to pinpoint rainfall amounts (in advance),” Erven said. “There’s a chance we could see more precipitation with that second storm.”

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While Environment Canada is still tracking how things might evolve, a third storm will likely arrive early next week and affect parts of Vancouver Island.

Erven noted that with so much rain in the forecast, residents should prepare for local power outages, and have a backup plan in case communities are impacted – especially as hard-hit regions continue to rebuild already damaged areas.

“With things being so sensitive at the current time, it’s better to be over prepared,” she said.

Despite bracing for the rainy week ahead, Erven noted the severity of last week’s atmospheric river was rare –bringing 80 to 100 per cent of normal November rainfall in just three days. For example, Victoria International Airport saw 78.5 mm of rainfall on Nov. 15 alone.

Erven reminded Vancouver Island residents to keep an eye on the Environment Canada website, and said rainfall warnings for west, north, and potentially inland Island regions will likely be released before Wednesday.

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