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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

 

Sunday night Calgary and area got hit with one of our impressive summer storms. The carnage actually began on Saturday, with a death at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose and a toddler killed by a piece of debris blown off a construction site Calgary downtown. That storm blew in and out in under two hours leaving a devastated family in its wake. Calgary covers such a huge area that parts of it experience weather phenomena differently. It’s very common for each quadrant to have their own weather systems, and one area is likely to be sunny while another one will get monstrous hail and a third only rain. The storm on Saturday blew through south of Calgary with hardly a mark.


Sunday however, was different. It began suddenly, with the wind picking up around 2 am. I know, because I’m a dedicated night owl and was still bright eyed and bushy tailed. The wind picked up steadily until it was blowing nicely at 65 km/h (40mph)  with gusts of 90 km/h (55mph) and it was LOUD. Whipping everything violently in its path it was bending trees sideways and breaking off branches. The skies opened up and a deluge came down. Lightning illuminated everything eerily and thunder crashed overhead like boulders.  It was a rare summer thunderstorm and it was powerful and exhilarating.

 

The next morning we went for a long drive. Downed tree branches littered the sides of the road. Many trees had limbs sheared off, and many just lost their leaves. Stores lost their awnings and communities their signs.

 

Notice the broken wood and cracked frame

Notice the broken wood and cracked frame

 

Awning down

Awning down

 

 

The skies were overcast as far as the eye could see, and the grass glowed with that special emerald green it gets under gray skies after a cleansing rain.

 

Endless gray skies

Endless gray skies

 

Darkening up

Darkening up

 

 

It was a gorgeous drive winding through some of our picturesque small towns like Black Diamond and the amazing foothills to the Rockies.

 

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

 

Main street

Main street

 

Foothills

Foothills

 

Shuttered park warden cabin

Shuttered park warden cabin

 

Rain down the valley

Rain down the valley

 

Low heavy clouds

Low heavy clouds

 

Hidden mountains

Hidden mountains

 

 

Soon however the skies darkened ominously, and the rain poured down again. Hard. Accompanied by even harder hail.  And that’s when we turned around. It was very large hail.

 

The first raindrops

The first raindrops

 

Outrunning the rain

Outrunning the rain

 

Hide cows, massive hail coming

Hide cows, massive hail coming

 

Our yard amazingly got away with pretty little damage, all things considering. Some broken flower stems, and some debris in the yard. The northern neighborhoods weren’t as lucky. They got three inches of hail and many instances of downed trees, broken roofs, downed power lines and broken windows to deal with.

 

Flowers in disarray

Flowers in disarray

 

 

And as I sit here typing this, apparently for the next week we gets daytime HIGHS of 14C (57F) if weather network is to be believed. Feel for us.

Update:  To see some photos of the damage head on over to the weather network and scroll to the bottom of the page to see some photos of the damage. Some of the houses look like they were strafed with a sub-machine gun.

6 comments to It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

  • Oh my, how awful! Especially about the toddler; that’s a terrible tragedy!

    We had some heavy rain last night with a tiny bit of hail but nothing like what you’ve experienced! Good luck to all of you out there. I’m glad that you didn’t experience much damage.

    When mother nature gets ticked off, she’s got one heck of a temper…

  • Yes, not liking the weather in Calgary much at the moment. Very sad about the toddler girl who died at the weekend.

    Lovely pictures.

    Glad to find another blogger in Calgary – seems as though we’re few and far between!

  • admin

    @ WR – yep it sucks, but the city is rallying together now, and is contributing to a trust fund for the family. The storm was much much heavier than we’ve seen in a few years.

    @LadyMama – hear hear – not too many bloggers here, but there are a few, thanks for stopping by!

  • It is sad. At the same time, looking at your pictures, I caught myself thinking – how beautiful are the surroundings. I love the picture of the park warden cabin. Colors are so rich and fresh. I think the nature itself can not be bad. It’s what it does to us, humans, is sometimes bad.

  • I heard about this on the news … crazy!

  • admin

    @ Tatyana – I completely agree – nature is what it is. The accident was tragic, but still only an accident, not something you can predict. The landscape here truly is beautiful, at least in the summer 🙂 The mountains are majestic and the land very wild. If it wasn’t raining I would totally explore that shuttered cabin, but alas it was already a good rain.

    @ Teena – yep – we don’t normally get anything that wild here, we hardly get thundershowers most summers. This was rather extreme.

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