Alberta Foothills Weather

May 23 – Wet Week

The rain moved in from the east late yesterday and stuck around all day today, but we only have 13mm in the bucket. Much more in random places all over southern/central Alberta, PASPC said up to 40 mm reported by this morning, but not where the report came from. The main band of rain set up from just north of Drumheller to just north of Red Deer then off to Drayton and up the footies to Whitecourt. No doubt the moisture is welcome out in the west country, but the folks east of here were probably not thrilled. Slave Lake and the forests to the north got nothing and continue to burn. At least it didn’t snow for the long weekend, 50-50 chance there.

We took a spin out to the new Ghost Pine wind farm northwest of Trochu in the wee hours of Sunday morning to try and get a peek at the scenery at sunrise before the clouds pushed in from the east. The clouds beat us there, but it turned out to be a nice trip anyway on a dead still morning. Not a turbine was spinning, which made it even better. Still quite a few big puddles in the fields out that way, we were surprised to see that not much seeding has been done out there while crops around here are already jumping out of the ground.

More liquid is in the forecast, with a train of low pressure systems steaming into the BC coast and a stout block of high pressure to the northeast, the crash zone has been wiggling a little bit, slowly moving most of the precip down the foothills. Last night there was a hint of perhaps 150mm(6 inches) or more of rain over the next 10 days from Sundre to Longview, tonight the totals have been reduced a bit, now showing a chance for up to 100mm for a large portion of southern Alberta all the way to the border.
Rain makes rain, and convective energy starts to make a regular appearance over Alberta starting next weekend. The nasty storm track that has been tearing up tornado alley this week is forecast to avoid Alberta until June, so nothing crazy till then. Maybe.

5am at the Ghost Pine Wind Farm near Trochu,AB - May 22, 2011
Dawn at the Ghost Pine Wind Farm near Trochu,AB - May 22, 2011Early morning quiet at the Ghost Pine Wind Farm near Trochu,AB - May 22, 2011Ghost Pine Wind Farm turbines loom over a rustic barn near Huxley,AB - May 22, 2011
Peaceful morning on the Alberta prairies near Trochu,AB - May 22, 2011Generation gap in wind power. The Old and the New. Near Trochu,AB - May 22, 2011Yellow-headed Blackbird near Huxley,AB - May 22, 2011
Rain beads decorate a willow branch southwest of Red Deer,AB - May 23, 2011Apple flowers getting ready to pop - May 23, 2011Crops begin to rise on a rainy day west of Penhold, AB - May 23, 2011

One Response to “May 23 – Wet Week”

  1. 1
    Brandon Says:

    The 18z GFS long range is hinting at ridging in the Midwestern United States forcing flow up here. Some hints of instability show up as well. I will watch to see if this ridge stays consistent. Another storm similar to June 10/2007 would be a nice way to start the season!

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