Friday, December 27, 2013

Melting Today, Blizzard Tonight!

Extreme fluctuations in temperature are often a sure sign that a storm is brewing and this formula works its magic again tonight. Highs of +2C this afternoon will briefly melt some of the slush on the roads but this lovely weather we have experienced over much of the Christmas and Boxing week season take an ugly turn later tonight. Blowing snow warnings have already been issued in the south western areas of Saskatchewan in addition to the Special Weather Statement from Environment Canada, using descriptive words such as "Drastic change in the weather coming tonight." and "snow and rapidly falling temperatures" and "Holiday travelers should be aware that road conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout tonight into Saturday morning. Gusts could be as high as 70 km/h in the Cypress Hills early Saturday morning and localized blizzard conditions are possible there." also, "In the wake of this system, bitterly cold temperatures will prevail for the weekend"It should be noted that this system, known as an Alberta Clipper is currently tracking though central Alberta now and is coming from northern BC mountain areas where heavy snowfall warnings continue through that region. This is a slow moving but powerful system. Please take extra precautions when planning any travel this weekend. Be prepared for the worst and remember that the city areas usually do not feel the full effects of these storms but as soon as you get on the highway it can go from light snow to zero visibility and black ice. Do not venture out onto highways during blizzard conditions, it is not worth the risk. Keep up to date with the latest watches and warnings from Environment Canada and STAY SAFE!

Now that I am back from lake having spent the Christmas season with family there, I want to share some of the footage from that area in north central Saskatchewan. The snow is very deep in drifts due to constant blowing snow but for the most part, snow depth is average, much less than last year.

Here is a 28 day time lapse video from the wildlife camera, notice the temperature change from -2C at the beginning of December to -36C upon arrival before Christmas. Amazing that it survived the harshest of conditions for a month straight!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Extreme Weather Today

Northern Saskatchewan is holding the title today for the coldest places on Earth with the top 3 being Southend -43C (which is actually far north, no idea who names these places) Stony Rapids -45C and Uranium City -43C (which is really not a city lol). Luckily windchills are limited to a calm breeze but feeling like -51C.

See the current world's coldest temperatures listed here:

As the extreme cold pushes south from the arctic, warm moist air is moving north east from the Gulf of Mexico. This is causing havoc across much of the eastern states and into eastern Canada with ice storms from Oklahoma to southern Ontario and severe thunderstorms south and east of that line. A Moderate Risk has been issued and tornado watches have been posted for many areas including eastern Texas into Louisiana.

Current storm situation from the Storm Prediction Center:

Some tweets from the ice storm in Oklahoma:

Sunday, December 01, 2013


Environment Canada has just confirmed the first blizzard of the the season for southern Alberta today. A major snow storm system is crossing the prairies bringing heavy snow, high winds and cold temperatures from north west Alberta, it is forecast to cross into southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan tonight. Monday and Tuesday the heavy snow will affect southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba. Fog and freezing rain ahead of the storm front has made highway travel extremely dangerous and this situation will only get worse with 10 to 20cm of snow (possibly above 30cm in some areas) with above 60km/hr winds and temperatures near -20C (windchills will be below -30C).

Currently the Trans Canada Highway is closed between Mortlach and Chaplin, Saskatchewan.
Check the Highways Hotline before any travel of just STAY OFF THE HIGHWAYS:

Near Maymont yesterday due to thick fog a 20 car crash injured 40 people and sent 13 to hospital.
CTV Saskatoon

Stay updated by checking warnings and watches from Environment Canada

I will continue to post photos and video as things progress here in Regina and remember to follow our twitter feed of storm chasers, spotters and weather sources.

Here is a couple little video clips of the fog in Regina yesterday morning from our sky cam:

Current Skycam View as of 1pm:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rare November Tornado Outbreak Today In Ohio Valley

The Storm Prediction Center in the United States has issued a PSD watch including a high risk for severe weather over a large area of north eastern USA. If in the area prepare for a tornado emergency especially this afternoon. Links to weather data, watches and warnings can be found on the SPC site (please do not flood the site if you are NOT in the danger area!) or follow storm chaser reports in real time in the side bar of this site (best way to conserve bandwidth and avoid emergency service sites from crashing).

 Take care and stay safe!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Slight Risk Today - Last Map Of 2013

12:30am Update:

Snip of the current Echo Tops shows a giant storm over south east Saskatchewan, moving north east very quickly and still growing! 

11pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Big storm moving north from Montana might be knocking the power out for Weyburn/Estevan areas overnight. Just saw a 83mph wind reports from NWS in Dawson County. Other high wind reports of 74 to 67mph wind gusts over the past 2 hours. That is extremely high! Echo tops are showing this a very powerful storm heading north east into south east Saskatchewan at the moment. Get your candles and flash lights ready if you are in that area!"

This situation is currently developing into what should be the last major thunderstorm event of the year on the Canadian Prairies. This will be mainly a rain event for south east Saskatchewan into southern Manitoba with the strongest storms happening just south of the US border on Wednesday afternoon. The risk for severe weather is only slight but it is worth keeping an eye on the weather and staying prepared.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Storm Cell Showing On Satellite Image

Now very hot and humid in the city of Regina and clouds are clearing to the south west. As of 3:30pm we have what looks like a storm cell showing up at the highest level on satellite but not as yet showing up on radar or echo tops. I have a wedding to attend this weekend so updates will be very sparse after this. Stay safe and heed all Environment Canada warnings.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Severe Thunderstorm Risk Map - Friday and Saturday

A powerful storm system is emerging over south east Saskatchewan according to forecast models and will begin to affect areas early Friday, possibly late tonight and gain strength through the day. This system is expected to cross much of southern Saskatchewan on Friday afternoon, then rebuild after sunset, back building over areas seeded with moisture from the first set of storms. It is expected that two supercells will emerge with one breaking to the north east and another splitting into multicells straight east into Manitoba. The risk for tornadoes is very low on Friday but can not be ruled out given the moderately strong wind shear. Tornadoes are more likely on Saturday in the southern lake country of Manitoba and increasing into Northern Ontario on Sunday. This is a potentially dangerous situation that could cause wide spread damage to trees and power lines. The main focus will be on strong gust front type storms and flash flooding. Please pay close attention to the weather and take all warnings from Environment Canada seriously. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quiet Pattern Continues - Fishing Weather!

A very marginal chance of storms today in some areas as the quiet pattern continues into next week with no real hot temperatures in play. Late last night we caught some lightning to the north of Regina, here is a couple video clips, same strike, two cameras:

Today's Outlook Map:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today's Outlook Map - Pattern Continues Along Foothills

This pattern of small but strong storms along the southern Alberta foothills continues today, venturing a bit further south east towards the US border. The same scenario tomorrow but further north west into the central Alberta foothills, then it begins to move off on Friday into western Saskatchewan.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Super Structure Storm Surprises

UPDATE: Added the full version video of the storm hitting and camera smashing to the ground:

This is the final set of photos taken by the Canon S3 as it took a tumble on the concrete pavement as the gust front flipped over the tripod. I was also trying to shoot with my BlackBerry Playbook at the time and caught video of the whole thing. This camera has done some amazing work and has been through it all. I am amazed it has lasted this long. Sadly the video footage it was taking can not be recovered but the camera can be replaced.

More video clips:

Brief Storm Possible To Graze Regina By Sundown

A heavy rain and intense lightning storm hit the city of Saskatoon a few hours ago and is slowly moving towards Regina at this time. If it hold together it may just catch the north end, spread out or nothing at all. Currently this small but powerful cell looks like a mini gust front with high tops, suggesting it will keep its strength by sundown near Regina where it should quickly dissipate.

Here is a look at the echo tops screen grab:

And today's outlook map:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Temporary Site Crash / Front Page News / Today's Risk Map

Today our little blog Canadian Prairie Storms made it to the front page of the Leader Post and soon after became unavailable until late this afternoon as restoration methods had to be implemented. As a result a new page was created on Facebook as a backup, this page will be maintained as time permits but feel free to give it a like and fill it with comments and reports. 

In today's weather news, Calgary has been issued a severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch with many areas along the southern Alberta foothills in the risk zone. This activity is expected to continue all week until storms move into Saskatchewan next Sunday according to long term models. We will update as storms develop and models change. Here is today's outlook map:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Updated Risk Map - Very Slim Chance Of Storms

Outlook For Sunday

Large supercell thunderstorms will begin early in the day in south central Saskatchewan and gain strength with day time heating and then move towards south east Saskatchewan and enter south west Manitoba by evening.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Today's Outlook Map / Week In Review

Here is today's severe weather outlook risk map:

It has been a very unexpectedly busy past three days and I feel it is time to take a look back at what happened this week. Forecast models really dipped in energy potential on Wednesday which is why the forecasters were overly excited on Monday and fairly unconcerned with the rest of the week. Let's start with this:

The Weather Network's Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott started a media frenzy and resulting backlash on social media when nothing hit the city of Regina. 

Meanwhile, just south of the city between 6 and 8 tornado touch downs were reported with golf ball size hail:

Here is a good link with more photos and details from Monday's severe weather outbreak: Saskatchewan Storm Summary
...with Here’s Environment Canada’s full breakdown of reports:
HEARNE ................... 3:30 PM ..... QUARTER SIZE HAIL
NEAR SOUTHEY ............. 3:30 PM ..... 50 MM RAIN
ROULEAU .................. 3:50 PM ..... GOLF BALL HAIL
SOUTHEY .................. 3:50 PM ..... LOONIE TO GOLF BALL HAIL
CUPAR .................... 4:10 PM ..... 55 MM RAIN, QUARTER HAIL
NEAR GRAY ................ 4:40 PM ..... RAIN-WRAPPED TORNADO
NEAR HAGUE ............... 4:50 PM ..... PROBABLE TORNADO
NEAR KRONAU .............. 4:55 PM ..... TORNADO
WEST OF YORKTON .......... 6:05 PM ..... TORNADO
NEAR ITUNA ............... 7:05 PM ..... GOLF BALL HAIL
PANGMAN .................. 7:50 PM ..... QUARTER SIZE HAIL

The next morning, ironically a storm free day for us, I ran into the Dominator 3 as I got my coffee at Starbucks:

Then on Wednesday with very little or no attention, a watch was issued for the Lethbridge, Alberta area and around 7pm they suddenly got slammed with 130km/hr winds. Possible the most incredible timelapse footage of any storm this year was shot by Cameron Prince on his first try at storm videos!
This same system then grazed the city of Regina on Thursday with similar but much weaker effects. Joshua Zorn was able to film the core as it went over Pilot Butte just east of Regina. This is also some really great footage as the storm was a dry gust front:

 ...and here is what I saw from Wascana Lake as you can faintly see the ground disturbance to the east: Then yesterday, the city of Regina got a direct hit between 2 and 3pm with tons of hail and strong winds and embedded lightning that took many trees and branches down throughout the city.. ..some enjoyed in more than others lol

You can see the footage I have posted so far at the bottom of this page if you click "Older Posts". I'm going to work on the full version video later today after coffee and maybe some kayaking..

Friday, July 19, 2013

This is how you storm chase in two places at once!

Here is a quick 1 minute clip of the storm as it hit and people scramble to safety at the Saskatchewan Legislature
Skycam footage from between 2 and 2:30pm sped up at 21x speed.

Photos Of The Storm As It Rolled In #yqr #skstorm

Large Tree Uprooted, Another Split In Wascana Park #skstorm #yqr #damage

A strong but brief thunderstorm brought heavy rain and strong wind gusts with embedded intense lightning that uprooted one tree by the pool in Wascana Lake and split another in half.

Intense Lightning / Heavy Rain - Regina 2pm -3pm

A very small but powerful storm cell is entering the city as I type this.. going to try and intercept in the park again..

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gust Storm Splits The City (6 Photos 1 Video)

A strong thunderstorm quickly rolled around the city of Regina and fully split on radar with not a drop of rain but very strong wind gusts. To the east it seemed to intensify and a brown plume of dust became visible from my position at the south lookout on Wascana Lake. Boaters were caught as the storm was not very visible and only a watch had been issued, kayakers eventually came off the lake and dragon boater were seen struggling to go out on the lake after the wind died down slightly. Video of this and timelapse is now in process..

Today's Outlook Map

A very locally powerful storm yesterday over the city of Lethbridge, Alberta caused wide spread damage last evening. This was a situation that was not especially shown in the forecast models so just to be safe we are issuing a rather large area with a slight risk of severe thunderstorms. If things pan out like they did yesterday, there could be a lone cell over south eastern Saskatchewan that will becoming damaging with extremely high wind gusts. For most of the area, any storms will be general rain with some lightning. 

In south east Manitoba and north west Ontario, a very different picture, with supercell thunderstorms wide spread with large hail, risk of devastating tornadoes and heavy rain moving towards the Great Lakes region. Luckily that area is very sparsely populated but there could be large swaths of downed trees as has happened in previous years. 

Absolutely Incredible Timelapse Today From Lethbridge

Credit to Cameron Prince for this.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Major Storm Damage In Lethbridge Today

Environment Canada reports that they recorded wind gusts over 130km/hr in Lethbridge, Alberta this evening. Shortly after 8pm reported began to flood timelines on Facebook and Twitter with damage photos all around the city. Media and others had earlier called on forecasters and storm spotters to stop scaring people with warnings of possible severe weather and warnings and reports were as a result much slower and less specific. More on this tomorrow as another round of the usual summer storms continue into Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Here is a collection of storm damage photos on twitter and CTV Lethbridge has a large collection of photos as well. Also a group on Facebook called Alberta Storm Chasers always has updated information on storms in that province.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thunderstorms Today Around Regina

Finally caught a lightning bolt! Huge storm to see from Douglas Park after I got off work, a bit late to the party but glad I jumped on the bike in time. There was a large number of people watching the storm on top of the hill. This footage is from between 5 and 6pm. The video is sped up 10x (quickly edited due to time constraints) and shows how volatile this system was today with dangerous looking areas in all directions but not a drop of rain and only a few strong wind gusts.

Tornadoes And Large Hail Today

Friday, July 12, 2013

Storm Outlook Next Week - (Very Low Risk)

Over the next five days it will be all clear for most of Alberta and Saskatchewan except for Monday. Manitoba will get most of the action Saturday, save the extreme south east corner of Saskatchewan. No major systems are showing up on the forecast models next week besides what is heading into northern Ontario tonight. That major system is now long gone and will allow for a much more calm series of days with little or no storms. On Monday severe thunderstorms are expected for a large area of the prairies including southern Saskatchewan but these storms will be much more localized than the previous system with little danger of widespread damage.

Updates will be very limited due to work commitments next week.

It seems the peak system of the year has passed so please enjoy your summer and see you next year!

Side note: having a look at the moon phases, there could be one last round of major storms around the full moon phase (July 18 up cycle to July 22 down cycle to July 26) which could also explain why the cap held and baffled many storm chasers yesterday. Much respect to the pros, they got it right.

If I am wrong again, sorry for bothering, keep in mind this is all for science. Thank you for your input.

Jared Mysko

Today's Outlook Map