Alberta Foothills Weather

July 1, July 3 – Hail and wind

The hail planes of Alberta are logging plenty of hours this year, a very busy start to July.
Storms boiled off the foothills early on Canada Day, not looking too healthy to begin with. Fighting the cap, they couldn’t get up far enough to sustain until they moved into some warmer landscape. We were out having a look to the west at what was going on but got chased home by an ugly core that went on to lay a thick stripe of pea hail from Gleniffer Lake to Bowden and on to Trochu. I went for a spin behind it to see what it had dropped but didn’t find much hail other than the Bowden strip. There was much more water. Rivers of it running through fields that should be dry enough to walk around on at least. The ground around here is completely saturated, it can take no more.

After a cap loading day around here on the 2nd, things got cooking again early on the 3rd, a wave of nasty rolling out of the hills heading northeast shortly after noon riding a cold front aloft. I went out west to watch the line come in, southeast wind pouring into it and low level clouds flying to the northwest. It was only 16C at the time, but with all the juice stored from the day before, it was enough for an eruption. A second wave caught the first one just south of here and it really lit off, tops approaching 40,000 feet, lots of spinny stuff going on.
About the time Brandon and I were texting back and forth about the hangy down bits we could see to the south, a wind event took place on Bergen road southwest of Olds. Some are calling it a tornado, some want more proof, but whatever the case, it took the roof off somebody’s house and chewed up a lot of property, which is bad. I don’t see why it could not have been a tornado, I was expecting to see one form any time while I was watching. There was certainly enough shear there for a little one like that.
The storm continued on to Red Deer where it gave the city it’s first flooding of the 2012 season that I know about.
20-30mm of rain and pea hail in 20 minutes jammed up the storm sewers, instant lakes popped up all over the place.

No more water can be consumed by the landscape without a good week of sun and heat.
This is exactly what the forecast promises, steadily warming for as far as the forecast dare go.
A big ridge with toasty temperatures above should keep the skies quiet after tomorrow, it’s going to be hard to get an anomaly if the models are right, but one can always hope. I am hoping something pretty will rise up for us tomorrow afternoon west of here before the warm air aloft builds back in from the south.

July 3, 2012, 2pm – Strathmore RADAR zoomed and overlaid on a map
July 1, 2012 Strathmore RADAR loop
July 3, 2012 Strathmore RADAR loop
July 3, 2012 Visible loop
July 1-3, 2012 IR loop
Red Deer flooding video

Canada Day thunderstorm west of Red Deer, AB - July 1, 2012Weathermod radome at Olds - Didsbury Airport - July 1, 2012Severe thunderstorm near Innisfail, AB - July 1, 2012
Double Rainbow north of Olds, AB - July 1, 2012Double rainbow southwest of Red Deer, AB - July 1, 2012Rainbow, grain elevator, train and cows southwest of Olds , AB - July 1, 2012

This is a timelapse of the July 3 storm looking south toward Olds, Innisfail is to the left of the frame. Start is 2:15pm, end is around 2:50pm.

2 Responses to “July 1, July 3 – Hail and wind”

  1. 1
    Heather Says:

    Hey, could you please send some of that to Ontario?
    Did I see a flicker or two of possible tornado action?
    And what the hell is a hail plane , for those of us who are clueless?

  2. 2
    Pat Boomer Says:

    Hiya Heather
    We got nothing to send, been pretty sleepy around here.
    There certainly was some rotation but I wouldn’t call in a tornado from what I saw.
    Hail planes patrol “hail alley” of southwestern Alberta looking for mean storms, seeding them with silver iodide to try and reduced the size of the stones.

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