Flood Warnings and Advisories

Flood Watch –South Coast

ISSUED: 3:15 PM January 31, 2020

The River Forecast Centre is issuing a Flood Watch for:

  • North Shore and Metro Vancouver (including Coquitlam River, Alouette River, Kanaka Creek, MacKay Creek)

An atmospheric river is causing heavy precipitation along the BC coast today (Jan 31, 2020). The heaviest rainfall is currently being measured on the west coast of Vancouver Island and along the North Shore Mountains. Storm total rainfall amounts in the wettest areas may exceed 150-200 mm, with lower elevation and more protected areas expecting amounts in the 50-100 mm range. As the source of the atmospheric river is from the sub-tropics, temperatures are expected to warm in addition to the expected precipitation, with freezing levels pushing above 2000 m by late-Friday for the entire region.

Rivers are expected rise through Friday and into Saturday in response to this rainfall. The most impacted regions will be the North Shore and Metro Vancouver, which is being upgraded to a Flood Watch. It is expected that rivers will reach or exceed 5-year flows, including the Coquitlam River and Alouette River.

While some snowmelt is expected during this event, snowpack at higher elevations is deep enough that it will provide some absorption of the added rainfall and buffer the impact of the rainfall on runoff.

The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-river-level period.

The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor and provide updates as conditions warrant.

Contact for Media Relations, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
Tel: 250 356-7506

Levels of Warnings/Advisories:

  1. High Streamflow Advisory: River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible. This is the lowest level.
  2. Flood Watch: River levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur. This is the intermediate level.
  3. Flood Warning: River levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result. This is the highest level.


  1. Home of River Forecast Centre
  2. Current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling
  3. Map of Current Streamflow Return Periods for All WSC Stations
  4. CLEVER Model 10-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
  5. COFFEE Model 5-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
  6. Back to page of Flood Warnings and Advisories