Sea-to-Sky at highest risk of avalanches as storms hit southern B.C.

VANCOUVER — Avalanche Canada is warning of a high risk of avalanches across the South Coast, the effect of a series of atmospheric rivers bringing heavy rain to the region. The organization says the Sea-to-Sky area along B.C.’s southern coast is the mo…

VANCOUVER — Avalanche Canada is warning of a high risk of avalanches across the South Coast, the effect of a series of atmospheric rivers bringing heavy rain to the region.

The organization says the Sea-to-Sky area along B.C.’s southern coast is the most at risk with a high danger rating from the alpine to the tree line. 

It says deeply buried weak layers are likely to produce large and destructive natural avalanches and it warned skiers and snowboarders to avoid avalanche terrain during the storm.

The warning comes as Vancouver Island and the southern coast is drenched with the series of storms. 

Environment Canada forecast five to 15 centimetres of rain that won’t relent until Thursday, while snow is the problem in the Boundary and Kootenay regions with 10 to 15 cm expected by late Wednesday. 

The B.C. River Forecast Centre says higher temperatures will melt mountain snow and that combined with the heavy rain prompted a high streamflow advisory cautioning that rivers will rise rapidly with minor flooding possible in low-lying areas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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