One of Metro Vancouver’s longest periods of cold weather and snowy conditions in decades is set to end. Many neighbourhoods in the region have had snow since on the ground since December 5, but that is all about to change.
The warmer temperatures anticipated to begin in Metro Vancouver on Monday will be accompanied by heavy rainfall from a moisture-rich tropical system from the East Pacific.
“Satellite imagery shows a plume of moisture originating near the
Philippines streaming towards the BC coast,” reads a special weather statement by Environment Canada. “Rain associated with this plume is expected to begin on Monday and to become heavy at times Monday night.”
As for the amount, as much as 50 mm of rain is predicted for Monday alone.
There will also be strong southeast winds accompanying the storms along with the potential for moderate to heavy rainfall to continue through early Wednesday.
— ECCC Weather BC (@ECCCWeatherBC) January 15, 2017
This week, temperatures will reach a daytime high of 10°C and an overnight high of 9°C; temperatures will not dip anywhere near the freezing point for the foreseeable future. The cold arctic outflow that is responsible for the six-week period of snow and ice will be rushed out and replaced by mild Pacific air.
“The persistent blocking ridge over Western Canada that allowed cold Arctic air to settle along the coast will finally start to weaken on Monday,” the weather statement continued. “This will allow a series of moist and increasingly mild Pacific storms to move onshore.”
There is a chance that areas such as Hope and Squamish could see an initial period of snow or freezing rain as the mild system moves over the entrenched cold air. Precipitation further up north along the Sea to Sky Highway and Whistler will begin as snow before slowly transitioning to rain on Monday night or early Tuesday.
With a significantly lower freezing point at just 2,000 metres, the upper sections of the mountains at Whistler Blackcomb will see heavy snow this week, but the lower half of the mountain slopes will likely experience heavy rainfall.
Heavy rainfall is also in the forecast for Cypress, Grouse and Seymour mountains, with temperatures expected to hover up to five degrees above the freezing point this week.