Alberta Foothills Weather

February 27

With the crud, comes the cream.
Yesterday was a completely pathetic day. Wind blasting all our nice new fresh snow into drifts with windchills at the -30 mark all day long. A writeoff as far as getting anything done outside.
Today was the polar opposite, right from the start. As soon as the day began, the wind dropped to zero. Shortly afterward I noticed a bit of a disturbance in the solar wind on ACE, so I had a peek out to the north and there was a green glow starting. By the time I got the camera set up, the magnetoshpere had warmed up enough for a few photos. Nice start to the 27th!
The day was about as nice as you could ask for after that turd yesterday. Envirocan nailed the forecast here, we made -6 this afternoon under contrail filled blue skies laced with sundogs and halos.
To cap it all off, Venus and the crescent moon lit up at sunset, only 1° apart. Too bad they were so high in the sky, it made finding a companion for a shot a bit more challenging. We were in Innisfail at sunset, the only interesting thing we could think of was the CF-104 Starfighter at the Legion. By the time we got home for a closer, darker look, a thin layer of clouds was messing things up, but thankfully a mostly clear spot rolled across just when I was looking that allowed for a zoomie.

Doesn’t look like much to complain about for the weekend, a touch cooler than average, but the long days help out. It looked like we might be in line for a few more flakes Monday, but now it looks like the Idaho high may poke it’s nose in and wave us out of the moisture. More interesting looking stuff is forecast for next weekend and beyond, I hope it all verifies and we get plenty more of this nice white stuff.
Going to try to get out to the hills for some Arctic Catting on Sunday, fingers crossed.

Aurora borealis from west of Red Deer,AB - Feb.27, 2009
Weak sun halo over the Alberta foothills - Feb.27, 2009Venus, crescent moon & CF104 Starfighter - Feb.27, 2009Crescent moon & Venus - Feb.27, 2009

6 Responses to “February 27”

  1. 1
    Matt Johnson Says:

    Hey Pat, love the shots of the Northern Lights. Haven’t seen them in a while since living in the city.

    Got a questions for you. Since I’ve only lived in the the province for almost 3 yrs now, I am still new to Albertan weather and even newer to forcasting.
    My question is have you noticed a decrease in tornadic weather over the past several years? I’ve done some research into this and from what little info I can find, it seems last year was one of the years with least amount of tornadic weather and has decreased over the pass three. I’ve found info that says Alberta’s average for tornadoes are anywhere from 14 to 20+ per year but have not found that to be true in the info for the past few years.
    Just curious about this. I know weather has its cycles but I just wondered if you knew of any info on this subject.

    Thanks once again!

  2. 2
    Brandon Says:

    I’ve been missing a lot of photo ops due to work, but I can’t complain because I’m crazy busy working, and a lot of guys aren’t working at all. I noticed the solar wind was way up to 600 km/s last night! I’ll let Pat answer that question above since it was directed to him, but in my opinion July of 2007 was active with tornadic supercells in Alberta. Summer of 2006 I remember there was a harsh death ridge in place, and last summer (2008) was terrible…lack of deep moisture and lack of directional wind shear. The trend I’ve noticed the last few summers is that southern Sask and southern Manitoba seem to get the deep moisture from the GOM, and the directional shear in place. Hopefully this summer we’ll be in for a few decent spinning storms.

  3. 3
    PB Says:

    Last year was too dang cold most of the summer, but there were still a few spinners around. If we can avoid a mega-ridge like Brandon mentioned and keep the temps above 20, things have no choice but go bang around here.
    The past few years have been a bit weak right in this area, most of the big stuff has gone to Whitecourt or Lethbridge.
    Can’t last forever, Calgary to Edmonton is the traditional nasty spot. I think those hail planes have murdered a lot of nice storms too.

  4. 4
    Matt Johnson Says:

    Great answers guys, thanks so much. I totally forgot about those cloud seeding planes!! Let’s hope this year is a more active year for big storms!

  5. 5
    Brandon Says:

    I think Pat is correct about the Edmonton to Calgary corridor. 3 of Alberta’s strongest tornadoes were spawned there. [Edmonton, Holden, Pine Lake] Obviously UNSTABLE were here for a reason! I understand what the hail seeding planes do, but I cant figure out how they can lead to a storm’s death? Doesn’t ”mother nature” decide that?

  6. 6
    PB Says:

    Seeding storms makes them dump their guts out, I think a lot just choke themselves out with rain/small hail after being bombed. Seen it happen dozens of times.
    The best example I can think of was Aug.20/08 north of Sundre.
    Healthy storm, nice structure with a deep meso.. then the hail plane nuked it and the storm just evaporated in less than 20 minutes.
    Doesn’t always work tho.

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