Alberta Foothills Weather

December 6 – Snowed in

It’s been a nasty week around here.

Monday, the last day of November, started it off. Clipper slides past, drops a few inches of snow and the fun begins. Although it only lasted a few hours it was enough to ruin the drive home for everybody from Edmonton to Calgary. Cold temps and a flurry here and there kept the roads slick all week, then came Friday.

We were prepared for this one and most should have been, it was well advertised and EnviroCan was all over it, issuing weather warnings the day before that grim weather was on it’s way. Brigitte took the day off and we stocked up for the weekend thinking we may get snowed in.
The snow started early Friday and by noon we were approaching whiteout conditions with the wind starting to pick up. Blizzard warnings went out in the afternoon for areas to the southeast of here, we could have been included but must have been right on the edge of blizzard criteria. Close enough for me. By dark the wind was roaring and we already had some 4 foot drifts laying around.
Highways closed all over the place, vehicles littering the ditches and a no tow policy on the QE2 may have left more than a few people in places they weren’t expecting to spend the night Friday.(link) (link)

Yesterday was not much of an improvement, we picked up a few more cm of snow, but the wind was just too brutal to even go outside for a good look around, howling all day from sunup to sundown. Total time outside for the day amounted to about 10 minutes.

Today the clouds moved off and the deep freeze set in. After spending a good portion of the day busting the concrete drifts out of the driveway in -25C windchills, the wind finally petered out just before sunset so we went for a trudge up the road to check out some of the monster drifts.
No getting out of here until the grader, or maybe a bulldozer comes along and busts out out. Nobody has been down our road since Friday morning. We have a 5 foot wall across the road the the north then a real ugly patch before you get to the highway, to the south are numerous 3 footers and another 5 foot high and 20 foot thick wall. Will be fun watching grader dude go after those beasts!
Hard to tell how much snow fell here, some spots are bare and others have a few feet. Generally about 20cm covering the yard. Much of southern Alberta reported between 20 and 30cm of the stuff.

As I tap away on this post a dome of quite high pressure is parked overhead(1040mb) and it is -26C(-15F). YQF, 8 miles NE is reporting -32(-26F). Every station in Alberta is reporting below -20, with about half approaching the -30 mark. Brrr!
The frost plug popping temps continue tomorrow with EC suggesting a high of -20C followed by a -35 night. There does appear to be some moderation on the way in the future, the giant block of Siberian chill is being trended off to the east, I hope that pans out.

Near blizzard west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 5, 2009
Snow dogs posing on snowdrifts west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 6, 2009Impassible country road west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 5, 2009Five foot snowdrift blocks the road west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 6, 2009
Snowdrifts cover a county road west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 6, 2009Long Nights Moon - Dec. 1, 2009Giant snowdrift blocks the road west of Red Deer,AB - Dec. 6, 2009

2 Responses to “December 6 – Snowed in”

  1. 1
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Wow! Quite the storm up there. Is it normal to be cut off from the outside world like that?

  2. 2
    PB Says:

    Hiya Dann
    We usually get blown in at least once a year but not this bad and/or we usually don’t have to wait this long to get dug out.
    Sometimes a 4×4 will blast thru if it’s not too bad but this episode left unbustable mountains.
    No grader today, still can’t make it to the highway.
    Must be a lot of roads like ours around for it to take grader dude 4 days to get here.

    Looks similar in the city of Calgary, a few neat pics in a slideshow here:
    http://www.calgarysun.com/news/2009/12/07/12071956.html

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