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UPDATED: Brace for strong winds Tuesday on the coast, and possible snow for Cowichan Lake

The Valley can expect winds up to 70 km/h as a strong Pacific low approaches the south coast.
Environment Canada is cautioning residents in the Cowichan Valley that there could be strong winds Tuesday morning, Nov. 17, 2020. Cowichan has endured windstorms in the past, including one near Christmas in 2018 that knocked out power to tens of thousands of people for days, and caused widespread destruction. (File photo by Warren Goulding)

Batten down the hatches Tuesday morning, and if you live out towards Cowichan Lake, be prepared for some possible snow.

Enviromment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the Cowichan Valley area for Tuesday, Nov. 17, saying that people can expect strong winds to sweep through the area.

The Valley can expect winds up to 90 km/h as a strong Pacific low approaches the south coast.

“The highest winds are epxected to come ahead of the associated cold front that will cross the inner south coast Tuesdayn morning to midday,” said the statement.

The statement may be upgraded to wind warnings as the front draws closer, Environment Canada said Monday morning.

Winds will ease Tuesday afternoon.

Environment Canada warns that the strong winds can toss around loose objects that have been left outdoors and tree branches can break, creating a hazard and possibly knocking out power.

Environment Canada has also issued an alert for inland Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Lake area.

The alert says that a brief period of heavy wet snow is possible early this evening as the temperature starts to dip.

Areas could see from two to five centimetres of slushy snow, so watch out if you’re taking Highway 18.

“A vigorous storm is approaching Vancouver Island today,” the alert says. “This system will bring heavy rain beginning this afternoon. The combination of heavy rain and cooling ahead of this system will bring snow levels down to near sea level for a few hours early this evening. Warm air moving in this evening will cause snow to change back to rain tonight, with temperatures rising to double digits by morning.”

And Cowichan Lake could also see some high winds, with gusts up to 80 km/h possible Tuesday morning.