Alberta Foothills Weather

March 20

Spring may have sprung early this morning, but winter is not over with just yet.
The forecast models have been bouncing all over the place with precipitation amounts, types and locations over the past few days, but a stripe of heavier “stuff” persists from Calgary up the QE2 to Red Deer for Saturday night.
EnviroCan has been advertising cloudy and +2 for Sunday for the past two days but is now suggesting some rain and heavy snow for tomorrow night. The battle zone between cold and warm, snow and rain, seem to be setting up right about… here. Snow west, rain east, hopefully it will get warm enough that freezing rain is not a big issue. Saskatchewan looks like the place to be for that.
Temperatures will be the key, EC is saying +7 for tomorrow, it may happen, but if not we could see a bunch more snow if the temps drop quickly as the precip arrives. A good night to stay off the roads.
Not very springlike for the first week of spring, we may not get clear of the precip until Thursday, and there are still no +20s showing out to 10 days.

Crunched up the numbers for the winter season this eve and charted up comparisons of high and low temps along with wind gusts/averages. I though this winter was cold, but I wasn’t expecting it to be twice as cold as the past two.
2006-2007 winter avg temp -5.36C
2007-2008 winter avg temp -6.09C
2008-2009 winter avg temp -11.36C
Compiled from 5 minute readings from our home weather station.

A tidbit from EnviroCan’s Climate archive
March 20, 1940: A 2-day storm dumped 15 cm of snow on southern Alberta, blocking rural roads and preventing many from voting in the provincial election. Some used horses to reach polling places (at times through 30-cm-thick mud), an all-day round trip. An official took just 5 hours to drive soldiers’ ballots from Edmonton to Calgary although he drove more than half the distance through a snowstorm.
Excerpt from ‘The Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar’ by David Phillips. © Environment Canada

ISS passes over southern Alberta - March 20, 2009
Winter high temperature comparison 2007-2009
Winter low temperature comparison 2007-2009
Winter wind comparison 2007-2009

2 Responses to “March 20”

  1. 1
    Matt Johnson Says:

    Pretty pumped about the snowstorm tonight. We are now officially under a Winter Storm Warning. But this that said I am more excited about this! And I quote “CONVECTIVE CLOUDS SHOULD INCREASE LOCAL AMOUNTS. POSSIBLE OF A FEW LIGHTNING STRIKES THIS AFTERNOON ALONG THE FOOTHILLS.” Haven’t heard the “L” word in a long time!!!! Might go chase some rain storms this afternoon ha ha!!!!!!!!

  2. 2
    PB Says:

    Yup very interesting. Glad to see EC has a warning out already.

    WWCN15 CWWG 211029
    SEVERE WEATHER BULLETIN
    ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA
    AT 4:29 AM MDT SATURDAY 21 MARCH 2009.
    ———————————————————————
    WATCHES/WARNINGS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHERN ALBERTA…

    WINTER STORM WARNING FOR:
    =NEW= CITY OF CALGARY
    =NEW= OKOTOKS – HIGH RIVER – CLARESHOLM
    =NEW= AIRDRIE – COCHRANE – OLDS – SUNDRE
    =NEW= DRUMHELLER – THREE HILLS
    =NEW= BROOKS – STRATHMORE – VULCAN
    =NEW= RED DEER – PONOKA – INNISFAIL – STETTLER.

    HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW EXPECTED TONIGHT AND SUNDAY.

    THIS IS A WARNING THAT DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS
    ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER
    CONDITIONS…LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

    ———————————————————————
    ==DISCUSSION==
    AN INTENSE PACIFIC LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP IN SOUTHERN
    ALBERTA AND MONTANA TODAY. THIS SYSTEM WILL AT FIRST PRODUCE RAIN IN
    THE AFTERNOON. HOWEVER THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL START BRINGING
    IN COLDER AIR AND PRECIPITATION WILL TURN TO SNOW BY THIS EVENING.
    HEAVY SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED WITH 10 TO 20 CM IN SOME LOCALITIES. IN
    ADDITION STRONG NORTHEASTERLY WINDS WILL DEVELOP PRODUCING BLOWING
    SNOW CONDITIONS REDUCING VISIBILITY.

    THIS WINTER STORM CAN PRODUCE POOR TRAVELLING CONDITIONS. PERSONS IN
    OR NEAR THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ADVERSE WEATHER
    CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR UPDATED WARNINGS.

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