High Streamflow Advisory

– South Coast and Vancouver Island (Maintained)

UPDATED: 11:00 AM December 18, 2018

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a High Streamflow Advisory for the South Coast and  Vancouver Island including:

  • Metro Vancouver – including the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers and local streams
  • Howe Sound – including the Stawamus River and tributaries along the Sea-to-Sky Highway
  • Sunshine Coast – including watersheds around Gibsons and Sechelt
  • North Shore – including the Seymour River and watersheds around North Vancouver and West Vancouver
  • Fraser Valley (North) – including mountainous tributaries from Coquitlam to Harrison
  • West Vancouver Island – including tributaries around Gold River, Zeballos, Tofino and surrounding areas
  • Central Vancouver Island – including the Sproat and Somass Rivers and areas surrounding Port Alberni
  • East Vancouver Island – including tributaries around Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Nanaimo and surrounding areas
  • Southern Vancouver Island – including the Cowichan River, Chemainus River and surrounding tributaries

A series of powerful Pacific storms has impacted British Columbia for the past week, with several weather stations recording over 300 mm of precipitation.  Freezing levels have ranged between 1000 to 1500 m resulting in significant snow accumulation over higher terrain. Rivers and creeks on Vancouver Island and the South Coast have been high, but have not resulted in flood levels.

Rainfall is expected to continue through Tuesday evening, and ease overnight and into Wednesday.  Another strong storm is forecast to arrive on Thursday bringing moderate to heavy precipitation to Vancouver Island and the South Coast.  Freezing levels are expected to reach 2000 m on Thursday, increasing the risk of a rain-on-snow event for the lower elevations.  Flows are expected to peak late Thursday or Friday. Additional storm systems are possible into the weekend.

Continued periods of high streamflow are expected on rivers this week. Brief periods between storms will allow for river levels to ease during these gaps in heavy rainfall.

The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.


A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected.  Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

A Flood Watch means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull.  Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.

A Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result.

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