Alberta Foothills Weather

May 2 – Off to a good start

Not much to complain about around here.
Warm and breezy, things are drying out fast. Rushing ditch water has slowed to a trickle, only a few little spots of snow left now, and a hint of green showing in the poplars. Nothing very interesting looking weather wise until the end of the weekend, nice mid-teen high temps till then.

The clouds are starting to fill out a bit better now, we have had a few days of healthy cumulo-puffs and towers, Saturday even brewed up a few anvilheads spitting grapuel, hain, rail, and everything in between.
Last night/early this morning we were treated to a nice little shot of aurora borealis. A speedy (~700km/s) stream had been blowing past for a few days but clouds had wrecked the show here. Clear skies last night as dusk went dark revealed a thin stripe of aurora directly overhead, almost looking like a contrail, but green and purple. As it faded away a dim green glow started to the north but the disturbance seemed to be fizzling out according to ACE. Nothing happening until I made a move for the hay, then a sudden eruption out of nowhere, streaks of aurora flying past directly overhead, streaming to a single point just to the south. It wasn’t a very bright show for most of the storm, but the high wind speed blasting them past made it look like earth was a marshmallow in a campfire. At times the aurora were almost white, or grey, but there were a few bright bursts with some pretty purples in there too.

Better looking convection to end the month - April 30, 2011
Ditch vortex - May 1, 2011Better looking convection to end the month - April 30, 2011Flowering pussywillow - May 1, 2011
Aurora borealis from south of Sylvan Lake,AB - May 2, 2011Northern Lights from southwest of Red Deer,AB - April 30, 2011

5 Responses to “May 2 – Off to a good start”

  1. 1
    Brandon Says:

    Very cool photos as usual, Pat. That was a very decent stream that seemed to gust all weekend. A long exposure for me was necessary to bring them out. I’d like to observe a stronger storm not only for the beauty but to bring exposure times down. I’m now beginning to get excited for the upcoming storm season. Thanks again for the text…!

  2. 2
    red Says:

    Is there a site where aurora are forecast? I like northern lights but rarely see them here. I know that in town with all the light it’s harder to see them. My one year in Northern Sask. was an absolute treat for Aurora.

  3. 3
    Pat Boomer Says:

    Thanks Brandon
    Not the brightest show for sure, 25s, f2.8, iso800 for the 1st one and iso 400 for the second.

    Red, I watch Today’s space weather, http://www.sec.noaa.gov/today.html
    And ACE when a disturbance starts, http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_2h.html

    CSSDP is a good one to see what’s happening with the auroral oval, http://portal.cssdp.ca:8080/ssdp/static_content/ssdp/rt_oval/index.html

  4. 4
    Brandon Says:

    We were pretty close in exposure times. Mine were 25 sec at 3.2 with an iso of 400-500. The motions were fun to watch 🙂

  5. 5
    Dann Cianca Says:

    Maybe you’re turning the corner to spring/summer finally??

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