Alberta Foothills Weather

January 9 – Winter carnage

This is how the morning kicked off…
“RCMP report as many as two-hundred vehicles stranded out in the Strathmore-Gleichen area.”(link)
Not a nice weekend in Alberta!
Everybody knew it was coming, but few likely thought it would get as bad as it got.
It started here Saturday shortly after noon, having been through the Edmonton region Friday and causing all sorts of headaches. First came the wind, then came the snow, and the carnage began.
Within a the space of a few hours as the blast progressed south, the QE2 between Red Deer and Calgary was shut down at least twice, a 20 car pileup north of Olds, then a 15 car jam north of Airdrie.
Then the problems started on the trans-can highway. A big crash involving buses, semis and cars near Strathmore shut the highway down, piling up the traffic behind, which then got stuck in place by heavy blowing snow. Hundreds spent the night on the highway in their vehicles in -15C temps with 50-80kmh wind howling across the flats out there. Hundreds more spent the night in small towns along the way, or in the Strathmore school gym. The town of Strathmore really got things going by declaring an local emergency early on in the show, opening the door to let stranded folks in for a place to shelter. Kudos!
The TC re-opened for a few hours this afternoon to let the trapped people get back to Calgary, but is now shut down from Strathmore all the way to Medicine Hat – 225km! Been a long time since I’ve heard of a closure like that.
(link) (link) (link)
We got out of it relatively unscathed, the majority of the snow missed us to the east, we may have gained between 5 and 10 cm but it is impossible to tell after it has been blasted by the wind for the past 24 hours. We spent most of the day digging out to the road, but that is a nasty mess to the highway. Busting up and shoveling out a 50x15x2 foot slab of concrete-like snow wasn’t really that bad after hearing of the 8+ footers plugging things up down south. If there had been even a 6 footer in the driveway it would still be there.
It will be interesting to see what the landscape looks like tomorrow.

Winter snarl begins in Red Deer,AB - Noon Jan.8, 2011AMA highway cameras at 1pm local time Jan.8, 2011

More family issues over the holidays, didn’t feel much like posting anything, but it’s hard not to see what Ma Nature sticks in your face, so here are a few pics to catch up since the last post.
Apparently this was the hottest year in Canadian history or something like that, but it was not the case here. This is what is has been like in our yard since the weather station went up in 2006.
2007 Avg temp 5.07 Avg wind km/h 8.05
2008 Avg temp 3.7 Avg wind km/h 7.6
2009 Avg temp 2.03 Avg wind km/h 6.6
2010 Avg temp 3.04 Avg wind km/h 6.15

Frosted New years day west of Red Deer,AB - Jan.1, 2011Warm Christmas morning sunrise over southern Alberta - Dec.25, 2010Christmas day standing wave from just south of Red Deer,AB - Dec.25, 2010Thick frosted fog coats the trees on the first day of 2011 - Jan.1, 2011
Rime feathers decorate spruce boughs - Jan.3, 2011Iridescent cloudscape over southwestern Alberta - Jan.6, 2011Iridescent cloudscape over southwestern Alberta - Jan.6, 2011Iridescent cloudscape over southwestern Alberta - Jan.6, 2011 - Jan.6, 2011

3 Responses to “January 9 – Winter carnage”

  1. 1
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Holy smokes! You guys got hammered up there! Hope everything is going well with your family.

  2. 2
    Matt Johnson Says:

    Wow that was a lot of snow this week! Talked to a neighbour yesterday and he thinks its the most snow since 2001 at least.
    Tackled some 5-7ft drifts in Red Deer and got my 4×4 stuck on the back roads!
    Looks like warmer weather ahead!!

  3. 3
    Anthony Lowry Says:

    yes nice coverage of that nasty storm Pat! Wow big and long sustained warm up over Western North America. Wont be much in the way of snow come first week of February here in southern Alberta thats for sure! Hope your doing well Pat.

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