Stormy day at Ogden Point (Robby Benn / @bcrobby on Instagram)

Environment Canada has escalated its weather warning issued on Friday, upgrading it from a special weather statement to a wind warning.

The new warning, which comes into effect tonight and extends through Monday morning, predicts a potentially damaging windstorm for several regions, including Greater Victoria, the southern Gulf Islands, and east Vancouver Island, from Duncan to Nanaimo.

The official statement from Environment Canada reads: “Strong winds that may cause damage and power outages are expected.”

This windstorm is unique as it marks the first significant wind event of the autumn season, coinciding with full foliage. The heavy tree branches, still adorned with leaves, are more susceptible to breaking in the face of strong winds, increasing the potential for damage and power outages.

Environment Canada cautions residents to remain vigilant.

Here are the key details of the wind warning:

Where: Greater Victoria, Southern Gulf Islands, and East Vancouver Island – Duncan to Nanaimo.

When: From tonight to Monday morning.

Weather Hazard: The presence of full foliage on trees makes them more prone to breakage during this early autumn windstorm, potentially leading to more damage and power outages than similar wind events later in the season.

A strong Pacific weather system will bring strong winds and rain starting this evening. Southeast winds at 40 km/h, gusting to 70 km/h, will intensify to nearly 70 km/h, gusting to 90 km/h, around midnight near the water.

Southeast winds are expected to decrease to 40 km/h, gusting to 70 km/h, by Monday morning, persisting until late Monday afternoon.

The hazards associated with this windstorm include the potential for loose objects to become dangerous projectiles, causing injury or property damage. High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches.

Furthermore, Environment Canada has also issued a rainfall warning for the Howe Sound region, predicting up to 65 millimeters of rain and gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour for tonight and Monday night.

The weather agency reported last week that more than 100 millimeters of rain could fall across parts of western Vancouver Island by early Tuesday. It anticipates cloudy skies and showers for most of the province for the remainder of the week.

While recent cool and wet weather has aided firefighting efforts in British Columbia, officials emphasize that extended periods of significant rainfall will be necessary to alleviate the drought conditions plaguing the province.

Residents in affected areas are strongly urged to take precautions, secure loose objects, and stay informed about the evolving weather conditions through official channels and local news outlets.

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