A mix of heat, humidity and long sunny days make July the busiest month of the year for dangerous weather in Alberta.
 
July is also the month most likely to see a tornado touch down in the province. Alberta gets about eight tornadoes a year on average according to Environment Canada data going back to 2005.
 
Some parts of the province are more vulnerable to extreme weather than others, with the Highway 2 corridor between Edmonton and Calgary including the Red Deer area home to the most tornado activity in Alberta.
 
"That's probably the heart of tornado alley in Alberta, then eastwards towards the Saskatchewan border," said Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak.
 
Many of the summer’s strong storms develop in the foothills in western Alberta in the mid to late afternoon before moving eastwards across Highway 2 later in the evening.
 
According to Kulak, current statistics don’t account for tornadoes that go unreported. Environment Canada relies on members of the public to keep them updated about extreme weather sightings.
 
"There's probably a lot more out there that we never hear about," Kulak said.
 
Most of Alberta’s tornadoes fall on the lower end of the five-point Fujita scale, landing at an F-0 or F-1. The Fujita scale ranks tornadoes based mainly on the damage they inflict -- the ones that do touch down in Alberta generally land in open areas and cause minimal damage.
 
Kulak added that tornadoes are perhaps the least of the summer’s weather worries.
 
"The bigger threats though I think to life generally speaking are lightning. And the lightning on average does kill more people across Canada than hail, wind, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes combined. So really tornadoes are just one part of the summer weather threats across the prairies and in Alberta."

 

More Local News

MLA Jessica Littlewood speaking out against sexual violence

Nearly two weeks after a disturbing early-morning encounter on a hotel elevator, local MLA Jessica Littlewood continues to speak up for women’s right to feel safe.

Fort Saskatchewan woman arrested for impaired driving

Recently, police took two dangerous drivers off the road.

Morinville planning to hear out more residents’ concerns

Morinville Town Council is letting their residents grab the mic, starting this August.

Cooking Lake Airport seeks to build runway add-on

Cooking Lake Airport is hoping for provincial funding for a runway extension.

Want the job? Here are some juicy interview tips

So, you're looking for a job? Are you ready for the interview process?

Props master spends the week with Wonder Woman

Travis Shewchuk has helped complete a life-sized statue of Wonder Woman.

NWR Sturgeon Refinery donates $2,500 to KidSport

KidSport will now be able to help even more children play sports, thanks to some very generous monetary support.

Quarter to loonie sized hail in Friday afternoon's storm

Heavy rain, gusting wind and hail swept through the area on Friday night (July 20).

No blue-green algae in Astotin Lake

Visitors to Elk Island National Park can enjoy a dip in Astotin Lake right now without having to worry about blue-green algae.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login