An atmospheric river will flood Vancouver with rain on Thursday

It’s been a while since the term atmospheric river has floated, but Vancouver and many parts of British Columbia will be hit with heavy rain on Thursday thanks to the weather phenomenon.

The last atmospheric river to hit Vancouver was back in January of this year, and this weather event prompted flood warnings.

The Weather Network is once again warning that flooding will be possible due to heavy rains and melting snow.

Vancouver alone could see 30 to 55 mm of rain, while other parts of the province like Whistler are expected to receive up to 75 mm of rain.


Rain is expected to start late morning or early afternoon Thursday as a warm front is expected to lift over Vancouver Island and the south coast. The rain is expected to last overnight.

MétéoMédia indicates that the rain “will fall at a fairly steady pace in the afternoon and evening”.

Rising freezing levels are also of concern.

“Snow accumulation remains significantly above normal for this time of year, with snow accumulation measuring 150-160% of normal over the South Coast and Vancouver Island,” said The Weather Network in a statement.

Freezing levels are expected to rise by 2,000 to 3,000m “as the atmospheric river passes over British Columbia bringing rapid snowmelt”.

This could lead to localized flooding in some areas.

After Thursday’s wet hell, the outlook for the rest of the week is not significantly better.

Environment Canada also calls for a few wet days, before the sun comes out on the weekend.

atmospheric river

Forecast/Environment Canada

Atmospheric rivers are to blame for the major floods that destroyed many parts of the Fraser Valley last year.

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