An intense spring storm is sweeping across Vancouver Island today and it’s packing a punch. Already storm to hurricane force winds have hit the west coast.

Wind warnings continue

Wind warnings issued for north and west island communities remain in place today. The low pressure system is intensifying rapidly as it nears north Vancouver Island. It’s on track to reach Haida Gwaii by the afternoon. Southeasterly winds up to 90 km/h are expected over western and northern island communities this morning before they shift to a more southwesterly direction with similar intensity midday. The strongest winds are forecast north of Tofino. These winds could cause trees to fall, branches to break and loose objects to be tossed around.

Winds through Victoria today shift from SE 50-70 km/h to SW 30-60 km/h late this morning. Overnight they pick up again, SE 50-70 km/h. In the Duncan area, morning southeasterly winds peak between 40 km/h and 70 km/h. Around Port Alberni, winds will be south 20 km/h throughout the day.

wind warning

Warm front through, Cold front arrives

There was a brief bump in temperatures overnight as the warm sector of the storm swept over the island. Along the west coast, just as winds were increasing, temperatures popped up to 16.1°C at Tofino airport! That was at 4:00am. By 7:00am the temperature had fallen to 10.3°C as the cold front passed. Unless another location in Canada heats up to more than 16.1°C this afternoon, Tofino will be the hot spot in the country today.

Thunderstorm risk

Unstable conditions following the cold front could pop some thunderstorms this afternoon. The risk is low, but it’s there, especially along the west coast between Port Renfrew and Tahsis.

Oh, and it’s raining, too

Plenty of rain is expected on the island today. Some inland communities could get more than 30 millimetres of rain in the next 24 hours! Being in a bit of a rainshadow, Victoria won’t get a huge amount of rain -- couple of millimetres at the most.

precip accum

The rest of the week

The thunderstorm risk returns tomorrow afternoon for the west coast of Vancouver Island, and the unsettled weather continues everywhere through Friday.