Alberta Storm Chasing

Chasing severe weather across the Plains of Canada

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Back Online

Posted on January 7, 2011 at 2:04 PM Comments comments (0)

HELLO EVERYONE!

 

I'm back. It's been awhile since I've had the chance to add  an entry thats for sure. We had been fighting with the new owners on the development we have lived in for the last year on getting the utilities brought in to our house. the old developers went out of business and never had phone, TV or internet lines brought in. The new developers finally have brought lines into the neighbour hood and I am online again.

 

Hope you start following again and thanks to those new member and the old of coarse!!!

Wintery Blast

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Well I know that I haven't had a chance in a while to write a blog, but this summer was so busy for us. My wife and I got married in Kananaskis, AB at the end of July, we bought a travel trailer and had some camping adventures in Montana and because of the late start to the paving season we have been working long hours with not many days off. But the season is winding down and I should have some more time to write about the weather.

Unfortunately with the busy season at work, I only got one chance to chase as you see in the blog (July4). It was a pretty calm year in Calgary for storms but we did get a few good rumblers in late July/ early August.

We are moving in a week to Sylvan Lake as my wife got a business offer in Red Deer we couldn't refuse. I can't wait really as alot of our severe weather pushes through that area and I think it will be a better base for storm chasing.

Now to the current weather here in town. It is hard to believe that only a week ago we had our hottest day of the year and now today we have snow in the city and Snowfall Warnings to the west. The pavement is still warm from all the hot weather over the past few weeks so no snow is expected to stick to the roads but as I write the roofs, grass and cars all are turning white. We are suppose to get 2-4 cm here in town today and another 2 cm overnight Sunday.  West of here in the Front Ranges and the Foothills there is a good chance that 20 cm or more will fall. Last year we had our first signs of winter on October 8th and saw about 5 days in October where snow fell. Looks as though we may see some more snow by weeks end and double digit temperatures might be a thing of the past.

 

I will try to get some more blogs up on days off and after our move next weekend. The paving season is winding down and I should have some more time to watch and write about the weather.

First Chase Of The Year

Posted on July 5, 2009 at 4:51 PM Comments comments (2)

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It has been awhile since my last blog and I am sorry for those that have been faithfully checking. I am back to work in the paving industry and my free time is next to nil and the time off I have had has been very uneventful in the weather department. But that all changed yesterday as I finally got my first chase of the year in just NE of the Calgary city limits.

At about 2:30-3:00 pm yesterday I could see that some convection was firing up along the Foothills NW of the city. By 4:30 pm the first dark cloud began to fill the skies over northern Calgary where we were working. As I left work soon after it began to pour over the job site and the streets began to fill with water. There wasn't much for lightning or thunder in the area that I was located in. I really went blind into the chase as I hadn't had the internet with me nor had I checked the weather models for the past few days but I did hear over the radio that there was a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for much of southern Alberta and that was all I needed for a chase. I decided to follow the storm that passed over northern Calgary in hopes that it would intensify, which it didn't. What it did though was lead me to the storm I filmed in the above video. As I headed east passed Delacour, AB I notice that a cell north of my location was building fast. It looked strong with no base in site, just darkness. I originally was going to out run it but it was large and I had some time restraints so I decided to cut north through Nightingale, AB on a gravelled road.

This turned out to be a good idea as most of the footage was filmed about 20 minutes north of my turn off. As I approached the storm from the south I could see that it was dropping a lot of rain. The lightning started to appear once I was just under the shelf cloud as well as a constent thunder. I parked under the shelf just ahead of the rain/hail shalf and began to film. The base of the thunderstorm was constently moving under the shelf cloud and the storm started to drop a ton of scubs. The wind began to pick up and at one point in the video I thought I saw a funnel trying to form. You can see in the video that I pan away from the scud to see was I thought was rotation on the ground underneth. After editing the video I have come to realize I was caught in the moment and that it wasn't a funnel at all.

Also Alberta has seen two tornadoes touchdown in the last week. The first was in Proovost, AB just NE of Hanna and yesterday another touched down just NW of my location in Red Deer. Check out these photos of the funnel cloud and tornado that formed north of Red Deer yesterday from other chasers sites here in Alberta; Prairie Storm Tranquillity, Alberta Foothills Weather and ExtremeWX.ca.

 

As I write this EC has issued some Severe Thunderstorm Watches south of the city. Maybe another chasing day for me!!!!

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the Snow Comes Down In June

Posted on June 8, 2009 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

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Well their you have it! Snow has returned to the province once again. Last week the models had hinted that a fair amount of precipitation would enter the province on Friday June 5, 2009 and with it brought a chance of snow. A cold front sweeping in from the north would be over taken by a moisture laden system pushing in from Montana and with the temperatures on Saturday morning hovering around 0 C, there was a good chance Calgary would see some of the snow. On Friday the rain started quite early in the morning and lasted most of the day. This was great to see as the past weeks had little to no precipitation leaving the grass yellowish and brittle. Finally planted the flowers last week and the soil in the garden was so dry it was like braking into concrete. Needless to say the moisture was welcome, even if there was a chance of snow. Also on Friday morning EC issued "Snowfall Warnings" for the Crowsnest Pass and Cypress Hills Provincal Park Areas where 15-25 cm were expected.At around 5:00 pm I took a look outside and saw that the rain had turned to a rain/snow mix but was melting on contact as the air temperature was still in the low pluses. Around that time EC had confirmed the snow in the Calgary area and predicted about 2-5 cm of snow overnight. Waking up on Saturday you could see that there was snow on the roofs and cars around the neighbourhood and there was even a light dusting in the shady spots. The Cypress Hills area definitely took the brunt of the storm. Snowfall amounts of +30 cm were reported throughout the park and most of the SE corner of the province.

Saturday brought some convection to the area with lots of rain and graupel falling within the city limits. Didn't hear any thunder or see any lightning but the lightning detector was picking up strokes north of the city.

The temperature is on the rise for most of the week and we will return to 20 C weather by the weekend. I finally got called back to work an start on Wednesday which is great for the bank account but hard on the storm chasing. I did catch my best storm SW of Brooks, AB last year in June and I was working but got rain out.

Hopefully I'll get some chases in this year too. Looks like the chance of some storms on Saturday so hopefully it will stay that way. But who knows what the weather will do next here in Alberta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thundershowers

Posted on May 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM Comments comments (3)

 

Though the dewpoints have struggled to get above zero all week there still were some isolated thundershowers that managed to get enough energy to drop some moisture. Most of the action (as usual) has been in Nordegg, Rocky Mountain House and Drayton Valley. Some other larger storms have been firing up even further north near Grande Prairie and Whitecourt, but for the south its been pretty much warm and dry.

These shots are from the storm that managed to develop west of the city as it travelled from the mountains over the foothills. At about 6:00 pm we were at the local Wal-Mart and saw the storm approaching from the west and we're even treated to a couple of CG strikes. As we headed west on 32nd Ave NE, the wind picked up around the Deerfoot Trail over pass. With all the dry conditions the sand and dust was blowing everywhere lowering the visability quite a bit. By the time we got home the storm was just about overhead and we could hear some thunder in the distance. At about 6:30 pm it started to rain, but wasn't coming down to hard. Soon afterward it really started to pour and water was flowing down the curbs at a good rate. I have now way off knowing how much rain we got but I estimate a good 10-15 mm.

This storm only topped out at about 20,000 ft. while the storms in the north have been more in the low 30,000ft range. We're all still waiting for the season to start and to see our first Watches & Warnings of the year to go up. Looks like the rest of the week we'll see TD's struggling to get above zero and the chances of thunderstorms aren't looking good.

 


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Weather Links

Alberta Foothills Weather - A great weather blog in Central Alberta.

Alberta Extreme Weather - Storm chasing team out of Edmonton, AB.

Steinbach Weather - great weather site out of Steinbach, MB.

Prairie Storm Tranquillity - chaser out of Red Deer, AB.

Alberta Supercell Tour -  chasers out of Edmonton, AB.

PASPC Weather Discussion - Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Center. Daily severe weather forecasts.

Big Sky Convection -  great chasing site based out of Denver, CO.

Thunderstorm Terminology - All the terms used in severe weather and thunderstorms.

tornadovideos.net - Some of the world's best chasers. As seen on Discovery Channel.

Forecasting Severe Weather - learn about forecasting severe weather.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center 

National Hurricane Center - US bases Hurricane Center.

Canadianweather.org - Great weather forum about Canadian Weather

Canadian Weather Warnings - Weather warnings from throughout Canada.

NOAA Warnings - America's number one weather site.

Alberta Road Conditions - From AMA. Offers both text and weather camera conditions.

Saskatchewan Road Conditions - Gives text conditions out road conditions.

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