Heavy rain and snow forecast to hit British Columbia

An arctic low pressure system will be accompanied by heavy rain, snow and hail that could cause minor flooding

Heavy rain, hail and wind are forecast to hit British Columbia later this week, prompting a weather warning for people living in the rapidly growing province.

A red alert, the highest alert for danger to life and property, was issued for the hilly southwestern area of the province. Environment Canada said wind gusts of 100 to 110 km/h (60 to 70 mph) are expected, along with heavy rain, hail and snow, which could cause minor flooding.

The agency issued a separate warning for the central Vancouver Island region, which was forecast to get as much as 150 mm (6in) of rain by Friday, with increased risk of flooding.

There are several major resorts in the coastal area, where wet conditions at the start of winter are a prime tourism draw.

The weather service said the system, an arctic low pressure system expected to reach Canada’s western coast on Thursday and linger for much of Friday, would be accompanied by heavy rain, hail and wind that could cause minor flooding.

Moderate to severe thunderstorms were predicted for western Alberta, which lies north-west of B.C., and could spark tornado warnings.

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