FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the B.C. Peace Region today.
Environment Canada says that conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms, which may be capable of producing heavy rain, high winds, and hail.
According to meteorologists, the thunderstorms could cause rainfall rates of up to 25 millimetres per hour, hail of up to two centimetres in diameter, and wind gusts of up to 90 km/h.
Earlier today, Environment Canada upgraded a special weather statement for the Peace Region to a rainfall warning, which remains in effect.
Bands of moisture wrapping around the area of low pressure will produce heavy rain beginning later Thursday afternoon, particularly along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains across Williston Lake and the Peace Country.
Widespread rainfall totals of between 50 and 70 mm are expected by Friday night with the higher amounts likely near Hudson’s Hope, Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge.
Recreational locations in higher terrain and Highway 97 through the Pine Pass could see total rainfall amounts exceed 70 mm.
Additional rainfall amounts are expected Friday night followed by a clearing trend on Saturday as the weather system departs into the Prairies.
There is some uncertainty regarding rainfall amounts for urban areas over the Plains such as Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. A slight shift in the storm track could shift heavy precipitation north or south of the populated centres.
Thunderstorms will also play a large role in the weather this weekend with locally intense downpours, gusty winds and lightning.