Alberta Foothills Weather

August 8 – Caroline to Sundre Supercell Tour

We’ve been choking on forest fire smoke for the past week around here, visibility has been very poor, and the storms seem to have been choking on the particulates as well.
Sunday, July 8 the smoke mostly cleared out and a nice single cell formed up out around Nordegg and started tracking toward Rocky Mountain House. It looked like it might head this way so I went out to meet it. It started to take a right turn just west of Rocky then headed south, where I met it northwest of Caroline.
It was feasting on some scuds around Cow Lake when I got first sight of it, looking a bit stretched out like it may have already blown itself apart, but there was an area of concentrated effort, and in a few minutes it gathered up a scruffy wall cloud so I went south some more to watch.
As soon as it could build anything interesting it would fall apart, constantly backbuilding further west, always trying to gather. Some nice low level inflow and surface winds from the east got it going good west of James River Bridge, forming up a beautiful lowered base and adding some stripes to the updraft.
The best part came as the sun was just setting behind the foothills, magical light like I have rarely seen.
Just west of Sundre I sat on #22 at Bearberry Creek with jaw agape watching the display in the first shot below, which is pretty much straight out of the camera.
Then it was dark and time to flee the core. Success! Made it home without any dents.
Strathmore RADAR loop (~2.5mb)
Before I can even get photos crunched up and a post made, there are more goodies firing up in the hills.

Supercell thunderstorm west of Sundre, Alberta - 9:05pm August 8, 2010
Not looking like much happening near Caroline, Alberta - 7:30pm August 8, 2010Supercell thunderstorm building west of James River Bridge - 8pm August 8, 2010Supercell thunderstorm over the Alberta foothills, from James River Bridge Store - 8:25pm August 8, 2010
Supercell thunderstorm over the Alberta foothills, from James River Bridge - 8:30pm August 8, 2010Supercell thunderstorm over the Alberta foothills, from Bearberry road - 8:45pm August 8, 2010Supercell thunderstorm west of Sundre, Alberta  - 9:15pm August 8, 2010
Supercell thunderstorm winding down southwest of Sundre, Alberta  - Bergen road, 9:25pm August 8, 2010

3 Responses to “August 8 – Caroline to Sundre Supercell Tour”

  1. 1
    Brandon Says:

    WOW! Amazing Pat. You will receive a lot of comments on that first photo for sure! Congrats on such a beautiful image, and chase.

  2. 2
    Colin McIntyre Says:

    Asome storms,,im living in the rong province.
    Colin McIntyre
    Victoria bc

  3. 3
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Okay, that top photo is something to behold! Great catch!

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