It doesn’t look like a white Christmas for the Cowichan Valley in 2020.
The sun and highs of 10 C that the region experienced on Thursday, Dec. 17, will be short-lived as a number of weather systems that will bring rain and wind slip into the region on Wednesday night.
Lisa Erven, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the Valley can expect three to five millimetres of rain on Thursday night and the bulk of the weather system will hit the area on Friday.
“The Cowichan Valley can expect anywhere between five and 15 millimetres of rain on Friday, and the winds are expected to be in the 30 to 50 kilometre range,” she said.
“The winds will be from the south east and there is a possibility of wind warnings being issued for the day in areas on the south Island. The temperatures will remain mild, with highs up to 10 C.”
Erven said that weather system will be quickly followed by another wet system on Saturday and Sunday, with a forecast of up to five millimetres of rain on Saturday, and five to 15 millimetres on Saturday night through Sunday, with winds between 30 and 50 kilometres.
The Valley will see high temperatures of 8 C over the weekend.
Erven said Monday’s forecast for the Valley is hard to predict at this stage as another wet system is pushing into Washington and Oregon and it has yet to be determined if that system will extend into the south Island.
But she said a high pressure system is forecast to move in on Tuesday and hold in place until at least Thursday, Christmas Eve.
“The Valley and much of the province will see more sunshine over those three days, with seasonal high temperatures of up to 6 C,” she said.
“The overnight temperatures from Tuesday to Thursday will drop to 0 C, or just below, so it will feel a little more like Christmas in the mornings. As for Christmas Day, we are still having discussions as to how long the high pressure system will last, and it’s possible that the system could begin breaking down on Christmas Day, which would bring more cloud cover and the risk of precipitation.”
Erven said that all the weather systems from now until Christmas are coming from the south, so the temperatures will likely not go low enough to bring snow this week.
She said there are no weather systems coming from the north containing Arctic air that typically brings snow to the region on the radar at this time.
“The chances of the Cowichan Valley having a white Christmas this year are pretty low,” she said.
As for January and the rest of the winter months, Erven said it’s a La Niña year which usually sees colder than normal temperatures.
While La Niña years usually weigh in favour of colder temperatures, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of bursts of mild air through the winter,” she said.
“But colder temperatures could bring lower freezing levels and lower elevation snow events, so communities closer to the water could see more snow than usual this year. People are encouraged to keep an eye on the weather through the winter months.”