Snow in September? It’s not unheard of for Albertans
WATCH: For the second time this summer, Alberta saw snow. Shirlee Engel flew into Calgary on Monday and the timing for her, like so many others, couldn’t have been worse.
On Sunday afternoon, Calgarians enjoyed a lovely summer day with a high of 25 C. By Monday morning, however, parts of the city looked like a winter wonderland.
Just call it your typical Canadian weather.
Though it’s not every year Calgary gets snow in September, it’s not unusual.
In fact, Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak said that Calgary has recorded snow during every month of the year.
According to Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals (1981-2010), the city receives, on average, about 4 cm of snow in September. It has even received a maximum of 6 cm in August (Aug. 25, 1900).
(Note, the data for snow does not show a measurement in July because it was just a trace.)
And the story is pretty similar in Edmonton.
Almost 10 years ago to the day (on Sept. 9, 2004), Edmonton International Airport recorded 4.8 cm of snow. Another 0.2 fell the next day. And the normal amount for the month of September is 2 cm.
But then, during that same month, there were four days that were above 20 C, three of which were after the fall equinox.
“This time of the year we can really bounce around quite a bit, from the warm to the cold and the snow,” Kulak said.
And that’s just what’s happening this week.
By Friday, Calgary and Edmonton are both expected to reach a high of 20 C.
“September is a month when you really can get anything,” Kulak said. He recalled that in 2009 Edmonton received a high of 34 C — on Sept. 23, which made it the hottest day of the year.
So, what’s responsible for the snowy weather this week?
“The very warm air, the jet stream, basically…was well to the north of Edmonton on Saturday,” said Kulak. “So we had this mid-20 degree day across much of central and southern parts of the province and then, behold the weather pattern moved southwards.”
That allowed chilly Arctic air to descend over the region. Any precipitation that fell ended up being the fluffy white kind.
But don’t pull out your winter jackets just yet: the warmer weather is expected to stick around for the next week.
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