Wind warnings in effect for entire B.C. coast as ferry cancellations continue
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2:04PM PST Last Updated Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7:32PM PST
VANCOUVER -- As the South Coast of British Columbia braces for yet more snow in the forecast, wind warnings have been issued for waters in and around southern Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
Winds in Howe Sound are expected to reach "hurricane force," Wednesday night, according to a wind warning issued by Environment Canada for the area.
In marine forecasts, hurricane force winds are defined as winds over 64 knots in speed, the equivalent of roughly 118 km/h.
There is also a "freezing spray" warning in effect for Howe Sound, meaning ice is likely to build up on marine infrastructure in the area at a rate of at least 0.7 centimetres per hour late Wednesday afternoon.
Nowhere else on local waters is facing warnings quite so severe, but there are storm warnings in effect for the Strait of Georgia both north and south of Nanaimo, Haro Strait, and the west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as gale warnings for the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Gale warnings are put in place when wind speeds are observed or forecast to be between 34 and 47 knots (roughly 63 to 87 km/h). Storm warnings pertain to marine wind speeds between 48 and 63 knots (roughly 89 to 116 km/h).
These warnings were issued as winds were expected to pick up Wednesday afternoon. BC Ferries cancelled all sailings between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. More snow was also in the forecast.