Alberta Foothills Weather

March 1 – Endless Winter

What a waste of what can be a fun season around here.
This has been one of the most brutal, nasty winters I can remember. Only two chinook rescues for us this year, one in January, one in February, the rest a steady train of cold and wind since mid November. If the sun comes out, it’s -20 or worse plus wind. If it gets anywhere near the freezing mark the wind goes insane.
No joy at all spare ONE sled ride this season on the one fine windless day we have had a few weeks ago. I should have taken a camera because that was the last time it was nice enough to be outside with one. We did have a thick freezing fog/rime show Saturday morning, the first since January 1, but before the fog even cleared enough for a photo, the wind blew in and erased the display. Figures. The whole winter has been like that. Last year, frost was the dominant winter theme, this year it has been blowing, drifting snow. Far too many hours spent busting up the concrete drifts in the driveway. Sylvan Lake even had to reschedule Winterfest because it was so cold and nasty.

March came in like a frozen lambchop this morning, temperatures below -30 for most of the province with windchills to the east in the -45C range. We hit -33 during the sunrise sag, a few miles east at YQF they made -36, and Sundre was at -40. Ridicluous! Normals for this time of year are 0/-12. Since November 16, we have had only 20 days above the freezing mark, and only two above 5C, with our hottest day of the season coming on January 27 at 7.7C. On the positive side if there is one, we have only had 4 nights with lows below -30. This morning is tied for coldest of the season with January 31, at -33.2C. Average high temp for the season so far is -7.2C, very close to our overall average temp of -7.5C last season. Low temp average is -16.7C. I feel for all the furry and feathered critters who have had to stand out in this. Hopefully the pine beetles have frozen more than the rest of us.

Looking at the long range models does not cheer a person up very much. Two more weeks of this frozen crud before a hint of a warmup mid month, if the GFS is right. Not much snow forecast for the next 10 days but you never know with the big systems crashing the coast. The battle lines of warm and cold will be along the Rockies for the next week, it can turn into a surprise foot if things take even a small twist.
Hoping for an anomaly, I’m ready for a thaw.

36 photos in the bucket for the month of February, about 20 of those were from inside the house looking out and the rest were of the sundog in the last post. Worst.. month… ever.
For some added content, I made a movie from EnviroCan’s infrared satellite loop of an amazing low pressure system floating along the shores of the Arctic ocean, and across the Canadian far north, in February. 110228IRloop.wmv (2mb) Right click to save and watch with windows media player.
Also, a 12mb loop of long range forecast temperatures to March 17th with data from

Window frost - February 16, 2011

One Response to “March 1 – Endless Winter”

  1. 1
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Sorry you’re not able to warm up, Pat. I miss the downsloping too… out east, the temp swings wildly from day to day on the Front Range. Here on the west slope, it’s much more mild.

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