Environment Canada has issued a Hurricane Force Wind Warning and Freezing Spray Warning for the waters of Howe Sound.
The marine forecast bulletin issued at 9:30 pm Tuesday warns of wind northerly outflows of between 35 to 45 knots (65 to 83 km/h) early Wednesday morning and 55 to 65 knots (102 to 120 km/h) late Wednesday afternoon.
Additionally, the federal meteorological agency has stated moderate or severe freezing spray is occurring or expected to occur in this marine area.
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Hurricane force wind conditions are defined as sustained winds or frequent gusts of 64 knots (118 km/h) or greater.
“An Arctic ridge of high pressure will remain over the British Columbia Interior this week. Gale to storm force northeasterly outflow winds will prevail through all coastal inlets over the next few days. Moderate to severe freezing spray will continue near the coastal inlets,” reads the marine weather statement.
“An intense low pressure system will approach Explorer Wednesday morning and move into Southeastern Explorer Wednesday evening. Gale to storm force southeasterly or easterly winds will develop over southern and central waters on Wednesday ahead of the low. Winds will become gale to storm force northerlies behind the system. This approaching low will also generate storm to hurricane force northeasterly outflow winds through central and southern coastal inlets Wednesday late afternoon through Wednesday night.”
These conditions could potentially have an impact on BC Ferries services on Wednesday, particularly routes serving Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in West Vancouver.
For the land forecast, a Wind Warning is in effect for both Howe Sound and the Sea to Sky Corridor between Squamish and Whistler. Cold arctic outflows funnelling out of the mainland inlets and valleys tonight will produce northeast winds of 40 to 60 km/h with gusts as high as 90 km/h.
These strong winds combined with cold temperatures will generate wind chill values of -20°C or lower overnight.
For Metro Vancouver, a snowfall warning remains in effect. Snowfall accumulation between 10 cm and 15 cm is expected between Tuesday evening and late Wednesday morning. Further accumulations of up to 5 cm are possible for some higher elevation areas Wednesday evening.