In the wake of forecasted atmospheric rivers on B.C.’s coast, parts of the Interior are being impacted by strong winds into the weekend.
Environment Canada issued warnings early Thursday morning, Oct. 27, amid the strong winds on the Coquihalla and Connector highways, with communities in the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Columbia-Shuswap regions affected through the afternoon.
The federal department forecasted a pair of atmospheric rivers this week on the coast and experts say its potential effects are starting to take a toll on the Interior’s weather system.
“We may not see tons of precipitation compared to the coast, but it is looking like there will be a similar strength in wind for Sunday afternoon,” said Derek Lee, a meteorologist from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
BC Hydro sent a province-wide notice earlier this week, stating that this year’s storm season could be more damaging as drought-weakened trees are more likely to snap or topple and land on power lines. Kelowna, particularly, experienced its second-driest September ever and remained stuck on zero millimetres of precipitation as of mid-October.
Winds across the Interior hit 60 kilometres per hour on Thursday, with power outages reported in Princeton, Keremeos and Revelstoke earlier in the day.
“The atmospheric river is pointing itself over the south coast,” Lee added. “In the valley, it’s about the wind more than anything.”
Though Environment Canada says the winds will settle down by Thursday evening, the impacts of the atmospheric rivers are expected to linger into the weekend’s forecast starting on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, the federal department predicted a pair of atmospheric rivers to hit B.C.’s coast — one in the central coast and the other over Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland.