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Avalanche risk considerable across Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast

Avalanche Canada is warning of considerable avalanche risk as warmer temperatures and heavy rain wash over the west coast.

Across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, warmer temperatures combined with rain are making backcountry snow conditions more dangerous, according to Avalance Canada.

They say as the snow becomes more of a “slushy” consistency, it has a higher risk of becoming an avalanche.

While the risk is moderate in the Alpine on the Island, the Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky areas are moderate risks from the alpine through to below the treeline.

According to the avalanche forecast, the heavier amounts of rain expected on the coast are “likely to produce large and destructive natural avalanches.”

“Storm slabs will build at higher elevations, while rain and warm temperatures saturate the snowpack at lower elevations,” said the report.

A total of 35 to 75 mm of rain has already fallen in the area, according to Environment Canada. They say another 20 to 40 mm can be expected Wednesday evening.

Avalanche Canada is asking people to minimize their exposure to avalanche terrain or avoid it altogether during periods of heavy rain.

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