July 31st 2017 will be the 30 year anniversary of the Black Friday tornado in 1987. 27 people were killed and over 300 were injured. The first report of the tornado came from a resident of Leduc county. It cut a swath northward through Millwoods then the Strathcona industrial area and then hit the Evergreen trailer park.
I witnessed this tornado first hand as it barreled towards our window in Millwoods only to shift direction and hit the next block over. The devastation I witnessed first hand I hope to never see again. The Black friday tornado is what inspired me to become a storm chaser. I want to educate the public of the dangers of severe weather. As a result of my experiences I not only have a healthy respect for mother nature but a fascination with it as well.
– AlbertaWX chaser Ryan Keller
Our friend Brenda Hall has given us permission to post photos from the album of E.F. (Erv) Butz. Many of these photos have not been made public.
These photos are the intellectual property of Brenda Hall and her family.
Today we were prepared for chasing but we were not prepared for what happened thats for sure! Our chaser Mike Rurak was up chasing a cell in Wetaskwin county when our Alberta Emergancy alert went off. Tornado! Unfortunately it was all the way down by Three Hills Alberta.
Here is what it looked like on Radar:
Twitter started flooding with amazing pictures including this video:
Where were we you might ask? Far away unfortunately. In fact no chaser was anywhere near this tornado. A meteorologist friend of mine referred to it as a “mesoscale accident”… I can definitely agree with that assessment.
So anyways here is what we got from our… Less exciting storm over Mulhurst bay Alberta.
Chasers Mike Rurak and Ryan Keller were out and about last Sunday and mamaged to capture one of the best aurora shows they have ever witnessed.
CTV Calgarys David Spence featured them on Tuesdays evening broadcast.
Congratulations goes to our fellow chaser Matt Melnyk for his recent exposure and his ongoing contributions that bring awareness about severe thunderstorms to the general public.
Matt was recently featured on CBC for aerial photos he took while flying past a severe thunderstorm near Yorkton Saskatchewan that produced a tornado on July 31st 2016.
Recently busy with his career Matt has returned with a vengeance. He has brought with him his legendary lightning photography and the unique perspectives he can get.
Quite a line of storms passed through central Alberta prompting severe thunderstorm watches and warnings throughout the afternoon. 2 teams of AlbertaWX chasers followed the storms which caused overland flooding in the Bittern Lake region and loonie sized hail. Our two teams did not see anything in the way of tornadic activity this afternoon as shear was non-existent near Edmonton. Down by Strathmore a cold core funnel was observed where there was a bit of shear on the models.
Photo credits to AlbertaWX Chasers Chrisy, Cheemo and Mike R
Keeping an eye on tomorrow, where we see a risk for severe weather over a good portion of central Alberta. A shortwave will begin to move in from the west triggering storms off the foothills. Large hail and strong winds will be the main threats.
Depending on how things shape up, parts of the risk area could be upgraded to an ELEVATED risk, should the dynamics hold.
Happy new year everyone! The next wave of snow appears to be targeting the capital region and northern Alberta with 11-15cm At this time the system is hitting with quite a force in BC, as a result most of Northern BC is under winter storm and heavy snowfall warnings. Thankfully our ever present buffer the mountains should remove some of this Pacific moisture and turn it into a more moderate snowfall according to GEM. This is all expected to take place mostly on Thursday and Friday morning. Of course this is Alberta, the system could always intensify. Never say never when it comes to Alberta weather. 😉