Alberta Foothills Weather

June 7 – Flood watch

From Environment Canada:

“A WEATHER SYSTEM MOVED INTO ALBERTA IN THE EVENING OF TUESDAY JUNE 5,
2012 AND TRIGGERED THUNDERSTORMS OVER SOUTHERN ALBERTA. THESE
THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCED LARGE HAIL, STRONG WINDS AND MULTIPLE
TORNADOES BEFORE WEAKENING IN THE LATE EVENING.”

That sums it up pretty well.
A rare beastie for these parts, riding a speedy jet stream up from Montana.
It’s not often we get a sustained upper level jet from the south, let alone the southeast, but there it was flying around the base of a big grinding low over Idaho. An almost worst case scenario developed as the forecasted south jet turned to the southeast and drilled the 30-50mm of liquid gold that was supposed to be fueling up the crops to the east directly into the foothills and mountains west of here, then it came rushing back out.

I haven’t heard of anything or seen anything epic in regard to the flooding yet, it’s been more like a good spring melt so far, but the melt is just beginning and there is likely to be a bunch more juice this weekend where it is not needed.
We spent the past two evenings out trolling around looking at the rivers to the west, not really sure what we might find, and not finding much. Dickson Dam is cranked open in anticipation of what surprises the June melt/monsoon combo can bring, Gleniffer lake is filling fast.
The foothills have been under a flood watch since the storm, all the way from Waterton to Grande Prairie, a few warnings too but nothing much has come of it that I have heard of, yet. A few closures but that is to be expected.

The set up is quite similar to 2005 and other big flood years. It always starts with a little flood like this to completely sog everything up, then the next rain hits the hills and the big flood starts.
All eyes are on the system pushing in tonight, earlier today there was mention of 100mm around Nordegg. Tonight’s models are moving it further south where we don’t want it to go. 100mm west of here and there is going to be trouble.

A few sites to watch:
Alberta Emergency Alert
Alberta River Basins Forecaster’s Comments
Alberta River Basins Flows and Levels

And a look back at the 2005 flood

Halo over western Alberta - June 3, 2012Lightning southwest of Red Deer,AB - June 6, 2012James River north of Sundre at 135 m3/s - June 6, 2012
Red Deer River at Garrington Bridge near 600m3/s - June 3, 2012Open floodgates at Dickson Dam southwest of Red Deer,AB - June 7, 2012Canada goose family navigates the muddy waters of the Red Deer river - June 7, 2012
Western Canada IR loop June 4-6, 2012Southern Alberta 24hr precip accumulation - June 6, 2012Strathmore RADAR loop June 5-6, 2012
SUMMARY WEATHER STATEMENT ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT 7:50 AM MDT WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE 2012.

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