Weather warning: potential heavy rain and strong winds forecast for Metro Vancouver

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      Today (December 19), Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver, which includes Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Richmond Delta, Surrey, and Langley.

      According to Environment Canada, strong and potentially damaging winds as well as heavy rainfall may occur as a low pressure system approaches the south B.C. coast today. The system is predicted to intensify overnight and is forecast to make landfall on Vancouver Island sometime tomorrow (December 20).

      Wind and rainfall warnings may be issued for other regions as details of the storm become more specific.

      The alert follows a previous wind warning issued for Metro Vancouver on December 17.

      It also follows in the wake of a freak tornado that struck Port Orchard, located west of Seattle, in Washington State, causing damage to homes and trees, knocking out power, and causing roads to be closed.

      Anyone travelling in B.C. should also take note that Environment Canada issued an alert for the Fraser Canyon after approximately 42 centimetres of snow has fallen near the Coquihalla summit since December 17.

      Although only a few snow flurries remain today (December 19), the approaching storm is expected to bring more snowfall overnight, increasing tomorrow (December 20) and may change to rain or sleet. Expected snowfall is estimated to range from 25 to 40 centimetres by Friday (December 21). 

      For details on road conditions, visit the Drive B.C. website. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook