(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Haida Gwaii gets set for major storm on Saturday

Environment Canada warns Saturday southeaster may bring winds of 90 to 120 km/h

A powerful storm is likely to hit Haida Gwaii with 120 km/h winds on Saturday.

Environment Canada warns that a very intense Pacific storm is expected to cross Haida Gwaii on Saturday — the storm will extend all the way from the Alaska to Mexico. The agency is forecasting the strongest winds on Saturday morning, just ahead of the front.

Because of the storm, BC Ferries has delayed the next ferry sailing on the Prince Rupert-Haida Gwaii route until Tuesday, Dec. 18 when the Northern Expedition will leave Prince Rupert for Haida Gwaii at 11 a.m. The ferry will arrive in Skidegate Landing at 5 p.m. the same day, before departing again at 10 p.m. and arriving in Prince Rupert at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Of the three wind warnings issued over the past week, Saturday’s is expected to be the strongest, with winds of 90 to 120 km/h expected over coastal areas of Haida Gwaii that include Highway 16.

On Cumshewa Head, the latest weather forecasts are calling for wind gusts of nearly 150 km/h.

In Dixon Entrance west of Langara, five- to seven-metre seas are expected to build by Saturday afternoon. In the southern half of Hecate Strait, meanwhile, the marine forecast calls for seas of between seven and 10 metres.

The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is asking boaters to check their lines and ropes ahead of the storm and again later this weekend.

Winds of around 75 km/h may continue on Sunday, and another, more short-lived storm bringing winds of over 100 km/h is expected to hit Haida Gwaii on Monday evening.

For the latest weather warnings, check Environment Canada’s webpage for B.C. weather alerts.



andrew.hudson@haidagwaiiobserver.com

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