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