Alberta Foothills Weather

March 17 – Spring mix

A bit more active weather since the last post, stout southwesterly flow gave us a windy weekend followed by two days of wavy treats. After staying indoors out of the wind for most of the weekend, Tuesday was a day for wave watching with a huge lee wave stretching along the foothills from Edson to Montana.
We headed off for Big Rock country in the morning, hoping to find some nice lennies and 20C down there, but forgot the back end into Kananaskis was still closed for the winter, which foiled our plan to come back that way. The edge of the wave down there never made it out of the mountains so we didn’t see much until we got back north towards the Trans-Canada highway. By the time we got back to the home range the ragged edge of the wave had pushed in to Caroline and was sprouting a few nice lenticulars here and there just in time for the golden hour. To top the day off, clouds parted just as it got dark enough for Venus and the one day old moon to be seen only 6 degrees apart. Never did see 20C, but cruising down the QE2 we crossed a line south of Olds, no more than 2 miles wide, where the wind suddenly switched from SE 20 to SW20, instantly the temp doubled from 6C to 12C.
Saw a few 19s listed on the EC page around Alberta but the best we saw was 15C around Okotoks.

Yesterday’s trough was the leadup to a big low hopping the Rockies today, it was supposed to deliver some rude winds as it passed by to the north but all of the nasty stuff missed us, not much wind and mostly sunny. Northern Alberta picked up a nice blanket of snow out of it, 15cm across the top third, rain and sleet mixed with snow for the middle, even the occasional red spot showing on radar.
Threats of March roaring in continue, but the models are swinging a tad for those of us closer to the mountains, adding a bit more west push to keep the cold in Saskatchewan. The worst stuff the GFS has in store for us is a week away, I’m betting it changes and winter is OVER. Fingers crossed.

Altocumulus Lenticularis over the foothills of western Alberta - March 16, 2010
Evening sun lights up the edge of a lee wave west of Innisfail, Alberta - March 16, 2010Altocumulus Lenticularis starting up over Big Rock, west of Okotoks,AB - March 16, 2010Altocumulus Lenticularis form over the Rocky Mountain foothills of southwestern Alberta - March 16, 2010
Evening sun lights up a lee wave over Spruceview, Alberta - March 16, 2010Late afternoon lee wave over the Red Deer river at Sundre,AB - March 16, 2010Candy cane stripes of iridescence light up the edges of wave clouds - March 16, 2010
1 day old Moon and Venus with 6 degrees of separation - March 16, 2010

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