Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

Brad Rousseau with the Weather Network said we have a very large and strong low-pressure system sitting in the Gulf of Alaska.

“Along the southern periphery of this low, there’s a big stream of moisture, what we call an atmospheric river, almost like a fire hose aimed right at the region. So, parts of the region can expect to see 90 to 120 millimeters of rain. The real heavier rain should taper off into tomorrow.”

Areas around Courtenay and the Sunshine Coast have a wind warning in effect.

The strong winds that could reach 80km/h are expected to die down by the end of today (Mon).

In the meantime, The Weather Network has released their winter forecast for Canada.

For us, meteorologist Brad Rousseau says we can expect a mild winter for a couple of reasons.

He says a developing El Nino and warm Pacific water will keep us on the warmer side of the equation.

“If you take December, January, February, the average highs for all three of those months are generally 7 and a half to 8 degrees. We can expect to see temperatures roughly in that range or even a little above.”

Rousseau says the pattern will break down at times, potentially bringing an abundance of rain and mountain snow in a relatively short period of time.

He says that will allow south coast rainfall totals to be close to normal despite the overall drier pattern.

The ski season, he says, could be challenging at times, but is by no means a total write-off.

Preliminary indications are also for an earlier arrival of spring weather.