Summer storm pounds Blackfalds

Blackfalds and areas of north Red Deer were blanketed by smaller-sized, but still damaging, hail as a significant storm rolled through Alberta on Wednesday evening.

Blackfalds and areas of north Red Deer were blanketed by smaller-sized, but still damaging, hail as a significant storm rolled through Alberta on Wednesday evening.

North Red Deer and Blackfalds, as well as areas south of Rimbey and other parts of the province saw rain, thunder and lighting, wind and hail.

Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry Thursday that said wind gusts reached 70 km/h at the Red Deer Airport, but their satellite data showed it could have been gusting at even greater speeds during the storm.

“As that cold front went through it triggered a few thunderstorms in and around Central and south Central Alberta,” said McMurtry. “There were a few places that reported hail, a lot of nickle- to quarter-sized hail.”

Blackfalds mayor Melodie Stol said there were two spurts of the hail about a half hour apart and overall the storm was much stronger on the west side of the town than the east side.

“The intensity of the storm overwhelmed the system,” said Stol.

“Then you get so much hail and the hail knocks leaves and branches off, which slows down the drain system.

“It cleared up really quickly afterwards.”

She said it was a good test of the city’s newer infrastructure and its ability to handle stormy weather.

Blackfald’s on-call public works guys responded to the situation and went around dealing with problems that arose. One manhole cover did come up, but it was quickly dealt with.

The hail knocked down some tree limbs and even some trees in the Blackfalds area. The howling wind may also have played a role in the tree damage suffered during the storm.

“Once you get nickle-sized hail and if it’s hard, that does damage,” said McMurtry. “That’s denting vehicles, that’s creating problems with outdoor fixtures or furniture. It was a significant hail event as it rolled through.”

The biggest hail reported, as large as a loonie, out of Wednesday’s storm was in Elk Island National Park and along Hwy 16.

McMurtry said there is good news though as there is a ridge of high pressure over the area that should stay for at least a week.

“It will bring mainly sunny skies and not much in the way of precipitation,” said McMurtry. “We’re in for a week of summer-like weather.”

Though, this could also be a concern as he said many parts of Western Canada are starting to dry out.

“The issue now is some areas have seen extended periods of dry conditions and we have seen a large number of forest fires in the Northwest Territories, B.C. and they’re going to see the influence of this ridge.”

This means there could be issues with forest fires and forest fire smoke.

Alberta Health Services issued a precautionary air quality advisory in Central Alberta. The wildfires raging in the Alberta, Northwest Territories and in B.C. could lead to smoky air conditions. People are advised to use caution if the air gets too smoky.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month