GFM Network News


This map shows pasture soil moisture levels as of the end of March compared to the long-term average. A large part of Alberta has near- to slightly above-average amounts of soil moisture. Parts of the Peace River and northern regions are going into the spring with well-above-average amounts.

Weather school is back in session — here are the basics of thunderstorms

How does solar energy result in thunderstorms? 
The answer lies with conduction, convection, and latent heat

With temperatures slowly starting to heat up across the Prairies, thoughts turn towards summer and summer weather, and in my case, I begin thinking about thunderstorms. After a very active summer last year, I thought it might be time to look at this topic again. I also thought it would be a good idea to take […] Read more

Severe summer weather. Taking a look at thunderstorms and wind

Everyone knows what a funnel cloud looks like, but understanding how it forms isn’t easy

In continuing our look at severe thunderstorms, we’ll look at specifically, the most deadly part — tornadoes. What are tornadoes and how do they form? A classic definition of a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground, which may or may not be visible as a funnel cloud. For […] Read more


Farming Smarter has created a hail simulator — dog chains attached to a bar that can be attached to a front-end loader — to create a reasonable imitation of hail damage.

Researchers invent their own version of the great white combine

Farming Smarter has created a hail simulator so it can test ‘hail rescue’ treatments

What can you do when your crops get pounded by hail? How do crops recover from hail damage? There are a lot of questions about this subject, and little information available. That’s why the team at Farming Smarter developed its own hail damage simulation machine, which it unveiled at the organization’s recent field school. “We […] Read more

When it comes to hail, not all parts of the Prairies are equal

South-central Alberta and south-central Manitoba get the worst hailstorms — but for different reasons

So far in our look at different types of severe summer weather, we’ve looked at heavy rainfall warnings and heat warnings. I was going to take a break from our examination of severe summer weather for this issue and examine some of the unique weather events that have taken place across the world over the […] Read more


This map shows the total precipitation across agricultural parts of the province over the 30-day period ending April 16. It is an interesting pattern — while the extreme north and central regions saw very dry conditions, the Peace, parts of the northern region, and along the southern foothills received significant amounts of rain.


Beginning our look at severe summer weather

Knowing an alert from a watch or a warning will help keep you informed, and safe

Usually around this time of the year I start my annual look at severe summer weather, but before we dive into that topic, the global March temperatures are in and the planet has beat another record. March 2015, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was the warmest March since records began […] Read more