The Weather Network – Multi-day storm threat takes aim at BC, dry lightning a concern

An upper level low has approached southern BC and has parked itself off Vancouver Island for the next few days, bringing with it a multi-day storm threat to parts of the province. Areas across the South Coast and central and southern Interior will have the threat for developing storms, some that may turn severe with the risk lasting through Friday. More on the timing and impacts, below.


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Thursday and Friday outlook: Severe storm threat spans parts of BC

The risk of storms began on Wednesday stretching over Vancouver Island, the South Coast, and through the southern Interior. The lack of significant moisture and dry lightning from the storms brings risks not only to humans, but the threat of igniting new wildfires.

Dry lightning is a type of thunderstorm where the rain evaporates before reaching the ground. Sixty per cent of the fire-starts last year were lightning-related, so it’s safe to assume additional wildfires will likely ignite in the coming days.

For Thursday the storm risk shifts east and will become more widespread. Similar hazards will threaten areas that do see severe thunderstorms develop.

“The steep terrain and topography may also help enhance the threat for large hail and locally strong wind gusts with the storms that develop,” warns Kelly Sonnenburg, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Some isolated thunderstorms and showers may develop through the late morning and early afternoon hours across the southern Interior before some widespread scattered convection occurs across the Kootenay, Columbia and Purcells regions.

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Wildfire smoke will also change its trajectory over the next several days, thanks to the offshore low; therefore, it may bring a haze to coastal BC with shifting smoke targeting different communities in the Interior. Some of that high-level smoke can even be traced back to the wildfires down in California.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the rare thunderstorm threat across southern BC

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