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Next 3 storms to hit B.C. expected to be atmospheric rivers

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Environment Canada warns of more heavy rainfall ahead'
B.C. floods: Environment Canada warns of more heavy rainfall ahead
WATCH ABOVE: Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, saying two more significant storms will blow through southwestern B.C. this week. – Nov 23, 2021

B.C. is heading back into a period of a parade of storms with very little break expected.

Global BC Meteorologist Kristi Gordon says these storms are on top of the 200-per-cent-plus above-average precipitation the province has seen in many areas already this fall.

Click to play video: 'Some Merritt flood evacuees allowed to return home'
Some Merritt flood evacuees allowed to return home

This next series of storms could put November into record-breaking territory for rainfall as the first three are expected to be atmospheric rivers, Gordon said.

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The first of the series will hit the coast late Wednesday with the heaviest precipitation for the South Coast expected Wednesday night through early Friday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, particularly near the mountains. It also includes the Sea to Sky corridor and the Sunshine Coast from Gibsons to Earls Cove, where 40 to 80 mm is expected to fall by Friday morning.

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Province announces $2,000 for flood victims'
B.C. floods: Province announces $2,000 for flood victims

“This storm will be shorter-lived and less intense than the event over Nov. 13 to 15,” Environment Canada said.

“However, it will still bring moderate to heavy rain and strong winds. Additionally, freezing levels will rise above mountain tops on Thursday. This may worsen recent flooding and impact vulnerable landscapes and infrastructure.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Another atmospheric river event likely Thursday, Environment Canada warns'
B.C. floods: Another atmospheric river event likely Thursday, Environment Canada warns
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Areas like the Coquihalla Highway have seen upwards of 25 cm of snow over the last couple of days, Gordon said. There is concern the moisture from the melting snow and additional heavy rainfall will impact the region, especially considering the vulnerability of the current terrain.

A rainfall warning has now been issued for north Vancouver Island where it is expected between 50 and 100 mm will fall.

Rain will begin Wednesday afternoon and continue until Thursday afternoon, according to Environment Canada.

There is also a concern about strong winds and flooding due to already saturated ground.

Click to play video: 'CP Rail reopens key line between Vancouver and Kamloops after extreme weather disaster'
CP Rail reopens key line between Vancouver and Kamloops after extreme weather disaster

The Central Coast is also under a rainfall warning, with 30 to 50 mm of rain expected from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. The biggest concern for this region is the possibility of localized flooding over low-lying areas due to rain and rising freezing levels causing significant snow melt.

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On west Vancouver Island, rain is expected from Wednesday night through Thursday midday.

The hardest-hit areas will be Ucluelet northwards, Environment Canada said, where between 100 and 150 mm is expected.

The second atmospheric river will hit the South Coast on Saturday bringing heavy rain through the early part of Sunday and there is a third one on deck Monday into Tuesday, Gordon added.

“We tend to see 20 to 30 atmospheric rivers on average throughout the year from October to spring, but this has been a particularly extraordinary fall to date,” she said.

— with files from Kristi Gordon

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