VANCOUVER - It's going to be a rainy weekend for much of Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada.

The weather agency issued a special weather statement for the region, which includes the North Shore, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.

"We're looking at heavy rain. This is due to an atmospheric river aimed at Vancouver Island, which is bringing lots of rain to Metro Vancouver," said Louis Kohani, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

He said much of the region will see between five to 10 millimetres of rain during the day Saturday but the rainfall will intensify in the evening.

The hardest hit areas – the North Shore, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge – will see 40 to 50 millimetres of rain by Sunday morning.

Other areas, including Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond, will see a downpour of 20 to 30 millimetres Saturday night.

Kohani said strong wind gusts of 40 to 60 km/h are forecasted for Saturday evening.

"There's going to be a front moving through the region, so that's going to bring those strong winds," he said.

The winds are expected to ease off by Sunday afternoon.

In response to the weather statement, the Homelessness Services association of BC is opening up additional emergency shelters to give the homeless some reprieve from the soggy streets.

The City of Vancouver has crews clearing catch basins in areas that are prone to flooding, adding additional crews are on standby.

It is also reminding residents to check catch basins and report any flooding to 311. 

The relatively warm temperatures mean that it won't snow in the mountains: Environment Canada says freezing levels are expected to rise upwards of 3,000 metres for the South Coast, resulting in rain at almost all elevations.

The public is encouraged to monitor rain and wind warnings from Environment Canada, and high streamflow advisories or flood watches from BC River Forecast Centre.

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