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Tag: Crowsnest Pass Weather

Riley McKenzie walks three dogs down Main Street in Pincher Creek

A last winter warm-up ahead of spring

It was downright summerlike in the southwestern corner of Alberta for the last weekend of winter.

In fact, it was one for the history books, with a 119-year-old daily maximum temperature record for Pincher Creek falling by the wayside. Sunday afternoon, the mercury reached 20.1 C, beating the old mark of 17.8 set in 1905. Data for the community has been recorded since 1893.

That same day, the Crowsnest Pass area weather station recorded a high of 16.5 C, up over three degrees from 2007’s 13.4, and Waterton Park’s weather station also broke its 2007 mark of 16.6 C, establishing a new daily high of 17.9.

Brocket’s temperature reached 21.5 C, tying with Fort Macleod, Claresholm and Red Earth, in the northwestern corner of the province, as Alberta’s Sunday hot spot.

March 16 was also a record-setting day as Crowsnest Pass and Waterton beat 2010 highs with readings of 14.7 and 15 C, respectively. Pincher Creek tied its 1972 record of 15.6 C.

 

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The warmth continued Monday, with all three weather stations reporting record highs. Waterton registered 17.6 C, Pincher Creek 16.7 and Crowsnest Pass 16.3.

Spring officially began Tuesday at 9:06 p.m., and with it comes another weather shift.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Monday predicting cooler temperatures and between 15 and 25 centimetres (six to almost 10 inches) of fresh snow for the Pincher Creek area.

A cold front passing through the province is responsible for the heavy snowfall, which was forecast to begin Tuesday night and last about 48 hours. A snowfall warning is likely and, as usual, precipitation will be highest on the eastern slopes of the Rockies.

With daytime highs below zero, the cold weather will continue into next week.

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

Tim Oczkowski, man dressed in warm camo jacket, ski pants and hat, on a cold day in Pincher Creek

Warm spell sets new daily temperature marks

Although not blistering temperature-wise, it was a record-breaking Sunday in almost every region of Alberta.

According to Environment Canada, as of 6 p.m. Sunday, 55 weather stations had either tied or surpassed previous daily maximum temperature records and several more should follow once all the numbers are crunched.

In Pincher Creek, the mercury reached 11.8 degrees Celsius, beating the old 8.7 mark set in 2005.

Crowsnest Pass, not to be outdone, saw its temperature peak at 10.4, replacing the old 2015 record of 8.7.

The Waterton Park weather station recorded a maximum reading of 12.0, up from 2016’s 11.1.

Pincher Creek also had another distinction on Sunday: the highest recorded Alberta wind gust for the day of 107 km/h, recorded overnight at the airport. Waterton was close behind with 92 km/h.

Monday should add another chapter to the story.

The forecast temperature for both Pincher Creek and the Pass is 14, surely shattering the old Jan. 29 standards of 9.3 (2017) and 7.6 (2012) respectively.

Coincidentally, Jan. 29, 2023, was also the date of the coldest-ever minimum recorded temperature in Pincher Creek, when the thermometer bottomed out at -31.1 C.

 

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Kelsey Green bundled in a winter coat and scarf on a cold day in Pincher Creek

Cold snap brings with it new temperature records

If you thought it was especially cold when you got up Friday morning, it was, and it was record-setting right across the province.

According to data released by Environment Canada, all but 28 of the 181 Alberta weather stations either tied or recorded new minimum temperature benchmarks overnight Thursday into Friday.

In Pincher Creek, the mercury dropped to -40.8 degrees Celsius overnight, without the wind chill factored in. The old mark was set in 1971 with a reading of -37.2.

The thermometer in Waterton Park also established a new standard of -43.6, an over-five-degree drop from the 1998 record of -38.1.

1998 was also the year of the all-time Jan. 13 yardstick in the Crowsnest Pass. That is until early Friday, when the overnight temperature fell to -39.9, a full two degrees colder than the mark 26 years earlier.

New record lows were also recorded to the east, in Brocket (-38.8), Fort Macleod (-38.3) and Cardston (-39.7).

 

Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek

 

Saturday remained cold from north to south but saw far fewer temperature records broken across the province. Thirty-six weather stations, but only two in our region, established new marks. 

Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass both set new record lows over 2005 temperatures. The Pass hit -40.3 and Pincher Creek -38.1, compared to -38.4 and -35.8 respectively.

Local schools were closed Friday in response to the extreme weather conditions and Livingstone Range School Division buses did not run on Monday.

A critical Alberta Emergency Alert issued Saturday evening urged people provincewide to immediately limit electrical use to essential needs only. Increased power demand had put the Alberta electrical grid at risk of rotating power outages, which were averted. 

While maybe not with a -50 wind chill, temperatures are forecast to remain well below zero with little or no precipitation after Wednesday, going into the weekend.  The normal daytime high at this time of year is around +2 with overnight lows near -14.

 

 

Ad for Ascent Dental in Pincher Creek
Sun shines through hoarfrost on tree branches against a blue sky.

Extreme cold warning issued with bitter temperatures ahead

If there was any doubt it would be frigid the next few days, an extreme cold warning issued Wednesday afternoon by Environment Canada should make us stand up and take notice.

According to the alert, the thermometer will drop to below -30 C beginning overnight Wednesday, but feel 10 degrees colder with the prevailing winds.  

“Air temperatures will continue to fall through the end of the week with the coldest values expected by Saturday morning,” said the statement, issued at 3:15 p.m.

“Over the weekend, morning temperatures will reach -40 degrees Celsius in many areas. Wind chills will approach -50.”

The biggest concern, according to the weather agency, is frostbite. At those temperatures, exposed skin can freeze in mere minutes.

“Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter,” the warning says.

Environment Canada is also appealing to pet owners

during the extreme cold snap, saying, “If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for your pet to stay outside.”

The extreme cold warning is in effect for all of Alberta.

A slight improvement in the temperature is expected for the southwest early next week, with the mercury forecast to reach into the minus teens.