People on the east side of Vancouver Island, and in places across B.C. will likely be better prepared for rainstorms like this now that Environment and Climate Change Canada have rolled out more specific forecast regions. — File photo

Better weather forecasts coming to Parksville Qualicum area

Enviro Canada responds to public frustration with new forecast regions

When it comes to weather forecasts, the federal government is zeroing in on the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Environment and Climate Change Canada announced several new weather forecast regions for British Columbia on Monday, May 16. The new, smaller regions will allow meteorologists to give more specific weather forecasts.

One of the new, smaller areas is the Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay east Island region.

The forecast region for the area previously extended from south of Duncan to north of Campbell River, with specific weather forecast pages in Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox and Nanaimo. Now, Duncan and Qualicum Beach each have forecast pages of their own.

“Weather conditions vary so much from location to location, and being able to provide more accurate forecasts and more targeted alerts is something that we’re pretty excited about,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald.

“The challenge previous to this was to try and cover all the expected weather along that incredibly long stretch of terrain. We’ve received feedback over the years that residents were often frustrated with their particular weather in their area not being represented by the forecast.”

After years of work, the new, more targeted weather regions, with their own forecasts, should help to change that.

The change didn’t require installing any new equipment, but did mean plenty of “behind-the-scenes improvements or adjustments” to software and various systems, MacDonald said.

Other areas with more specific forecast regions include Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Canyon, the Sunshine Coast and inland of the North Coast.

To see the Qualicum Beach forecast page, go to weather.gc.ca/city/pages/bc-98_metric_e.html.