Alberta Foothills Weather

February 6 – Big Winter Swings

This time last winter we were putting around on dry roads, not enough snow to go for a sled.
Winter 2011 has been almost completely joyless so far, spare the very few chinook days we have had, which can be counted on one hand.
Roads have been on the cruddy side for most of it, the crews don’t seem to be able to catch a break. Only a day or two of melty time to try to clean up before the cold and wind arrive again, and back to black ice we go. Only a few days during the week have been suitable for the first sled outing of the season, but weekends have been dominated by wind and cold, so in the garage the cats sit. Plenty of snow here for it, I was surprised on a trip to Calgary last week by how little there is on the ground from Olds south.
Some big temperature swings could have something to do with it.
There have been some highly amplified swings in the jet stream this season, with the Yukon getting some quality time above the freezing point at the top, while thousands of miles to the south where the stream bottoms out, they are freezing their cojones off in Texas. Big low pressure systems slamming the Alaska and the BC coast have been creating some large and quite sharp temperature gradients along the stream, some interesting numbers in around here last week, with Calgary sitting close to or above freezing while an hour East in Drumheller it was -27C. Rain in February? That too.
With plently of warm air flooding across the cold air pushing down from the north, I have been patiently waiting for the freezing fog to return, but it has not made an appearance around here since the first of the year. Last year we were swimming in glimmering rime, almost a daily event. Signs of a dry spring?

The wind is whipping -25C chills from the southeast as I type, another big low sweeping in from the coast, another dump for the mountains, and perhaps a nice blanket for the foothills, not expecting much here and nothing for the next week after this. +2 to -2 for the weekend please, it’s time for a sled!

It’s been a weak week for photos around here, the main event was a wicked bright solo sundog show last freezing cold Sunday, but the photo computer took a dump the same day and I just got it fixed back up today.

Western Alberta Sundog at -24C - Jan.30, 2011Western Alberta Sundog at -24C - Jan.30, 2011Cold Alberta Sundog caps the flagpole - Jan.30, 2011
Warm wavy afternoon in western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011Warm winter afternoon in western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011Glints of iridescence light foothills wave clouds over western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011
Warm winter sunset over western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011Cirrocumulus sunset over western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011Warm winter sunset over western Alberta - Feb.2, 2011

3 Responses to “February 6 – Big Winter Swings”

  1. 1
    red Says:

    As always you have great sky pictures…color and shape of clouds …awesome.
    I still want to get in some more cross country skiing so no thawing yet please.

  2. 2
    Pat Boomer Says:

    Thanks Red 🙂

    Looks like we are finally going to get a nice weekend?
    The snow looks delicious out there…

  3. 3
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Wow, great optics, Boomer!

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