Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Storm Forecast - Season Wrap Up - Twister Tue(2)sday!

Strong upper level winds are forcing Arctic air into the Canadian Prairies and even further south past Montana today causing a strong temperature gradient across North Dakota and into Minnesota. An outbreak of severe weather is expected in an unusually large area covering 8 states around Minnesota today. This should mainly be a straight line damaging wind event for those areas and may reach parts of extreme southern Manitoba.

The long term forecast suggests that we will gradually warm up into the weekend in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba with CAPEs (Convective Available Potential Energy) returning on Sunday. Southern Alberta could see marginally severe thunderstorms on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with Saskatchewan and Manitoba added into the mix on Wednesday. None of these days will there be any widespread activity or tornadoes. The storm season truly seems to have come to an abrupt end this month of August but don't count on this trend continuing. Things could change abruptly if it ever dries out. Tornadoes have been known to occur as late as the beginning of September but are considered very rare at this time of year. Overall things will depend on how hurricane season develops in the Atlantic, if there are hurricanes then we will see calm clear sunny skies in Saskatchewan. As predicted many months ago, it looks like this will be one of the most productive and profitable harvests ever for farmers in Saskatchewan.

As for the Canadian Prairie Storms Network, I would personally like to thank everyone involved for an amazing season. Certainly one the most active years on record with tons incredibly documented footage of thankfully injury and fatality free tornadoes. The experimental forecast map was a popular and useful tool and I will continue to advance my knowledge and education along its lines. Twitter and especially the Twitter list was another great tool for relaying information and sharing footage of the many chasers and spotters that participated. Environment Canada, The Weather Network, Global, CTV and CBC and various radio and newspaper networks made for a great team, together we will all continue to learn, respect and appreciate the beauty and strength of the weather on the Canadian Prairies. I look forward to the future and a possible rehashing season ending get together with fellow storm chasers sometime soon. It will be a great time to sit back and have an epic brain storm about what to do with all the great footage taken by so many in such a short year. A feature length, big screen movie about the year could be worthy of the name Twister Tue(2)sday!

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