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“Atmospheric River” heading our way

BC Hydro’s updated weather forecast and subsequent potential water inflows into the Comox Lake Reservoir has slightly worsened. There is about a 20% increase in the forecasted rain totals. In addition, the rain should be more constant on Friday and Saturday and the water inflows into the reservoir may be high Friday through Sunday.

It is a narrow band of high precipitation, known as an atmospheric river, that is tracking towards the region. A 50 km shift in the storms heading to the north or south can make a significant difference in rain amounts. Even a day before this storm hits, significant uncertainties remain.

BC Hydro will increase discharges from Comox dam beginning at 6:00 pm today and target up to maximum discharges down the Puntledge River. Flow rates from the dam may go above 150 m3/s during low tides and down to only about 35 m3/s during the high tides each morning.

With the high river flows and the changes in flow rates depending on the ocean tides, for public safety, BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River beginning this evening through Wednesday next week.

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The freezing levels continue to look to be high and will lead to melting snow.

The winds out of the southeast remain, though they look to be down to about 40 km/h.

BC Hydro remains concerned about the potential for some isolated flooding along the Courtenay River during the King Tides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It will be dependent on the timing of the peak flows out of the Browns and Tsolum rivers. As a heads up, BC Hydro reached out to key Comox Valley emergency response agencies yesterday and communications continue.

(BC Hydro)

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