Alberta Foothills Weather

July 11,14 – Closer to home

July 11th turned into more than I thought it was going to. Soft looking storms brewed up near Rocky early in the afternoon in a northwest flow, I debated even going for a look but curiosity killed the cat as they say. It was a shelfy, cold looking mess for most of the time I spent watching it west of Penhold, cold north wind was out almost 10km ahead of it then about 15 km west it started to build a little structure and divide itself up a bit. It was clipping right along but didn’t look too scary, it looked like it might have a hail core on the south side of it but was hard to tell until I stopped for a quick photo and got a dime sized hail nut right to the skull. The first one to fall. Expecting golfballs next I took off east.
The silly thing chased me toward Pine Lake, I’d stop every few miles to see if there was still nuts in there, until I was almost to Pine Lake before they stopped. There must have been a thin sheet of it out front of the rain because I couldn’t even find a spot on the way back where the flowers had been knocked off the canola. Completely devoid of structure when I bailed out, the next cell south gathered itself up to the east and gave some nice photo ops around Drumheller.

July 14 was a better show. We were parked out north of Olds watching to see if the storm just west of there was going to do anything, keeping an eye on a sickly looking thing with a raggedy anvil due west of us, still out in the hills by Bearberry . It looked like a warm push upstairs from the southwest was killing off the Olds storm and we thought about heading towards some more interesting stuff near Rocky Mountain House, when the little nerdle suddenly caught a big breath and developed into a classic low precip foothills beauty. We sat on the east side of Eagle hill and watched it for almost an hour until it got the same dose of warm midlevel air from the south that killed off it’s buddy near Olds.

RADAR was showing some interesting stuff around Rocky so we headed north and met up with it as it was near Eckville. Low level bands of convection were pushing in from the southeast, meeting the flow from the west in a dark and sometimes very green convergence that looked like it was going to mow over Sylvan lake. Not sure what happened there but quite suddenly it dumped out and died down pretty fast. There were some interesting looking things buried in the precip but we never got a good enough look to see what was actually happening in there and we weren’t going any closer to find out.

Sounds like a tour is in order for tomorrow, fingers crossed for some foothills goodies.

July 11 Strathmore RADAR loop
July 14 Strathmore RADAR loop

Thunderstorm west of Penhold, AB - 3:10pm July 11, 2013Low precip supercell northwest of Sundre, AB - 5:36pm July 14, 2013Thunderstorm over the canola patch. Near Benalto, AB looking north towards Eckville - 7:08pm July 14, 2013
Thunderstorm gathering up near Eckville, AB - 7:20pm July 14, 2013

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