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Alberta Clipper

An Alberta Clipper is a type of low-pressure weather system that forms in Alberta or nearby, on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. It is a fast-moving storm, hence the name “clipper,” which refers to 19th-century ships known for their speed. Depending on the province where the system approaches the Canada-United States border, sometimes it is called a Saskatchewan Screamer, Manitoba Mauler or Ontario Scary-o. It may also be called a Canadian Clipper or simply a Clipper. Such storms mostly occur in December and January but are common in the fall and spring, too. They form about 5–20 times per season.

Article

Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a wind pattern surrounding the Earth’s poles. Both the North and South pole have polar vortices spinning around them. In both cases, the rotation is generally cyclonic — counter-clockwise around the North Pole and clockwise around the South Pole. While polar vortices exist year-round, they are strongest during each pole’s winter. Canadians tend to experience the effects of the North Pole’s polar vortex toward the end of winter. At this time, the vortex begins to weaken, and cold, polar air travels further south. Polar vortices are atmospheric phenomena which occur on other planets too, such as Mars, Venus and Saturn.

timeline event

570 Die from Heat in Deadliest Weather Event in Canadian History

A “heat dome” over much of Western Canada resulted in record-breaking temperatures between 25 June and 1 July, especially in British Columbia, where temperatures were routinely above 40˚C. It was estimated that around 570 people in the province died from the heat. Sarah Henderson, a scientific director at the BC Centre for Disease Control, called the heat dome “the most deadly weather event in Canadian history.” 

timeline event

“Worst Weather Storm in a Century” Causes Floods, Wipes Out Highways and Kills Five in BC

A “significant atmospheric river” inundated the Lower Mainland and the southern interior of BC with a month’s worth of rain in less than 48 hours. Many communities recorded more than 100 mm of rain; the town of Hope had the most with 252 mm. A landscape scarred by forest fires and other effects of climate change resulted in severe mudslides and floods in 17 regional districts. Five people were killed in a mudslide on Highway 99 north of Pemberton, and hundreds of people in the province were evacuated by helicopter after they were stranded by mudslides on highways and roads. Stretches of the Coquihalla Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway were badly damaged or destroyed. The town of Merritt was flooded, forcing more than 7,000 residents to evacuate. The Sumas Prairie, an agricultural area between Abbotsford and Chilliwack that had once been a lake, was flooded, causing hundreds of millions in damages. The storm, which came four and a half months after a heat wave that killed almost 600 people in BC, also took a deadly toll on the region’s livestock. An estimated 628,000 poultry, 12,000 hogs and 420 dairy cows were killed and 110 beehives were destroyed.