Heavy rainfall warning issued for Metro Vancouver

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      It's a good time to clear outside drains.

      That's because this afternoon, Environment Canada warned of 40 to 60 millimetres of rain in Metro Vancouver by New Year's Eve.

      It will be due to a frontal system moving south along the B.C. coast.

      "Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible," the national weather forecaster stated. "Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks, and culverts."

      While it's not possible to attribute a single event like this to climate change, heavier rains have been predicted for Metro Vancouver in the coming century as a result of rising global greenhouse gas emissions.

      Earlier this year, a senior project engineer with the regional government's liquid waste services, Lillian Zeremba, wrote a report predicting 20 to 45 percent more intense rainfall in the region by 2050.

      “These increases are averaged over the entire region and averaged over different types of storm events with durations ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours,” Zaremba wrote.

      Metro Vancouver's climate projections anticipate wetter winters and drier summers, with total winter precipitation rising from 683 millimetres in the current time to 714 millimetres in the 2050s and 780 millimetres in the 2080s.

      Snow coming to Coquihalla

      Environment Canada has issued several other weather warnings for other areas of British Columbia over the next 24 hours.

      West Vancouver Island is expected to receive more than 100 millimetres of rain by Tuesday (December 31) evening.

      And snow is expected along the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, beginning this evening near 900 metres.

      "The snow level will rise on Tuesday morning to near the summit at which point the snow will become heavy and wet," Environment Canada predicted. "On Tuesday evening the wet snow will change to rain as the snow level rises above the summit. The highest snowfall will be near the summit with total accumulation of 20 to 30 centimetres expected by Tuesday evening."

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