Monday marked Alberta’s first suspected tornado of the season

An extremely eventful day yesterday. Let’s start here:

Among a number of funnel clouds, a short-lived, extremely isolated tornado looks to have done some damage. I imagine there’s a decent chance that an official agency heads out that way sometime today to investigate this. Until then, there won’t be an official update on whether this was a tornado or not.

We had loads of energy yesterday for storms, but we lacked strong wind shear — the vertical force that enhances storm strength. When there’s a lot of energy and limited uplift, you achieve two major factors: one, the huge cumulus towers that make up these storms can sometimes lower a brief vortex below the cloud ceiling; AKA, a funnel cloud. Some of these can even touch down. The second effect is hail; hail requires a strong updraft within the storm to grow large, and without it, abundant pea-sized hail is likely. That’s what we saw through parts of our city yesterday, resulting in this:

It’s a protective instinct to take shelter in a hailstorm, but it’s exponentially more dangerous in low visibility to stop on the road in these circumstances. Luckily, this didn’t result in any collisions.

This brings us to the present; Sunday, we had 10.9 millimetres of rain. That was the wettest day of the year. Yesterday, we topped it; 24.2 mm. Overnight, the rain kept going. Here’s the last 24 hours:

I circled Calgary. Sustained showers to the northwest yesterday afternoon and overnight resulted in over 60 mm coming down. This likely wraps just after the noon hour.

Tomorrow, a brief resurgence of moisture may result in thundershowers. Then, the jet stream tilts a wee bit further to the south, giving us a southwesterly profile, and a much warmer – and drier – lead-up heading into the weekend.

I mentioned in our seven-day trend yesterday that a drop was coming for Sunday, leading into more rain; that’s now begun to materialize on Saturday afternoon. There’s still a chance it falls back; it’s a ways off, yet.

YOUR FIVE-DAY CALGARY FORECAST

Tuesday

  • Showers, then afternoon clearing
  • Daytime high: 16 C
  • Evening: some cloud, low 8 C

Wednesday

  • Partly cloudy, chance of afternoon showers
  • Daytime high: 19 C
  • Evening: clear, low 6 C

Thursday

  • Mainly sunny
  • Daytime high: 22 C
  • Evening: mainly cloudy, low 13 C

Friday

  • Partly cloudy
  • Daytime high: 23 C
  • Evening: mainly cloudy, low 13 C

Saturday

  • Partly cloudy, chance of late day showers
  • Daytime high: 20 C
  • Evening: cloudy, chance of showers low 11 C

Today’s pic was sent by Vince. The initial frontal boundary for yesterday’s activity was a stationary front, where the warm and cold air masses hung together; that creates quite the cloud display!

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