Residents of British Columbia’s north are being warned to prepare for the next atmospheric river to hit the province.
Environment Canada has issued winter storm warnings for inland sections of the North Coast, the McGregor region and Pine Pass on Highway 97, while special weather statements were issued for Haida Gwaii and coastal sections of the North Coast.
Snowfall warnings were also in place for a large swath of northern B.C., including the Prince George and the Stuart-Nechako areas.
The weather system, expected to move into the region Saturday through Monday, is forecast to bring between 100 and 150 millimetres of rain to Prince Rupert, with between 30 and 90 millimetres in other coastal areas.
There is also a concern about flooding in inland areas of the north coast. Environment Canada said there is a “high likelihood” that rivers could swell due to rain and snowmelt.
The BC River Forecast Centre also issued a flood watch for the North Coast, including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hartley Bay, Kemano and surrounding areas.
Inland areas could see between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow.
Coming in the wake of devastating floods and landslides in southwestern B.C., the alerts prompted the Ministry of Public Safety to issue a rare weather warning of its own, urging people to be prepared for all weather conditions.
In a media release asking people to “get prepared for heavy rain and strong winds,” the province urged people to stay away from swollen creeks and rivers.
It advised residents to watch the weather forecast carefully, to take steps to protect their homes from flooding, to watch for falling trees and branches and to be prepared for power outages.
Motorists were also urged to slow down and drive for the conditions, and never to drive through floodwaters.
The weather system is forecast to move to the South Coast in a weakened state by Monday.