Latest articles

An early spring provided a longer- than-average frost-free season

Many parts of Alberta saw earlier-than-usual fall frosts but had a pretty decent frost-free period

Every year around this time the weather discussion begins to centre around the first fall frost. Some years, like when we see an early-fall frost, this topic is at the forefront of conversations. This year, if you live in Alberta or Saskatchewan then there is a good chance that you’ve already seen your first fall frost […] Read more

Why Alberta gets more than its fair share of hail

The number or size of thunderstorms is less important than how close the freezing layer is to the ground

It’s time to continue our series of articles on different types of severe summer weather. I like to re-examine these topics every year or two due to the importance of understanding the different types of severe weather, and also because most people find this aspect of weather so fascinating. In this issue we are going to […] Read more

Mother Nature’s recipe for making very severe thunderstorms

There are some key ingredients that (usually) are needed to create a truly wicked summer storm

As the heat continues to build across the Prairies, the chances for thunderstorms have also increased. We began our look at thunderstorm fundamentals that lead to garden-variety thunderstorms. But while these types of thunderstorms are fun to watch, we all know how quickly they can turn into severe thunderstorms. A couple of weeks ago we […] Read more

In summer, Mother Nature starts cooking up thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are one of the most fascinating weather events and it helps to know how they’re made

As spring begins to transition into summer, I like to revisit what I find to be one of the most interesting weather topics — thunderstorms. As temperatures begin to climb and moisture (hopefully) begins to flow northwards, the ingredients come together to develop thunderstorms. So far this year we haven’t seen much thunderstorm activity, but as […] Read more

If you like cold, the first half of April delivered in spades

Most forecasts predicted it would be chilly, but they’re split on what May and June have in store for us

After dealing with a cold and snowy March, most of us across the Prairies were hoping for a little better weather in April. Just how good or bad you saw April’s weather depends on what you wanted. For example, the cross-country skiers were more than happy in my region as the cold start to the month […] Read more

The numbers are in and, baby, it was cold this winter

A cold snap that started in February and continued through March made for a long and chilly winter

Yet another month has come and gone, and for most of us across the Prairies, March 2018 was not one we really care to remember. After a warm start to 2018 that saw January temperatures averaging from 1 C to 3 C above the long-term average across all three Prairie provinces, cold weather moved in […] Read more

Bezte: What the weather forecasters predict for this spring

As usual, you wouldn’t want to bet the farm on these predictions but it’s always fun to see who comes closest

By an overwhelming amount, the No. 1 question I’ve had over the last couple of weeks is what will the spring be like? While I usually wait until the end of the month to do the look-ahead forecast, I will use this article to go through each of the medium- and long-range forecasts to see what they […] Read more

There are extreme rains, and then the deluge caused by Harvey

Some parts of Texas received more rain in 24 hours than Prairie centres have seen in their wettest-ever month

As fairly quiet weather continues across the Prairies, the big weather story recently has been Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore in Texas late on Aug. 26. Harvey rapidly strengthened in the 12-hour period leading up to landfall and came ashore as a borderline Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 210 kilometres per hour. It wasn’t […] Read more

The physics of lightning and why ‘if it roars, go indoors’ is good advice

Tornadoes, wind, and hail grab the headlines but it’s lightning that typically poses the biggest danger

To wrap up our look at severe thunderstorms, we’re going to revisit how lightning is thought to form and then take a look at some lightning facts and safety tips. Tornadoes, wind, and hail often make the headlines when it comes to thunderstorms, but it is lightning that is often the biggest threat. For this […] Read more

Diving a little deeper into summer weather and tornadoes

Tornadoes are nearly impossible to study but we do know a lot about the mechanics of how they form

In this instalment, we’ll continue our look at severe thunderstorms, and specifically, the most deadly part — tornadoes. While eastern parts of the Prairies have only seen a few isolated severe thunderstorms, parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta have already seen their fair share. I think most Canadians were more than impressed, and maybe a little bit […] Read more