Monday, July 8, 2013

Spectacular Hail Storm Near Calgary

Most of us are able to observer hail from a single location and never get to see a true picture of a hail fall pattern. You may have already this aerial photo of a stripe of hail covering the ground near Airdrie, Alberta, about 20 km north of Calgary. It's been on the web the last few days. This photo is a first for me - I have never seen an aerial view of a hail fall like this.

Hail swath on the ground near Airdrie, Alberta Canada. 
Credit: Cpt. Daryl Frank, Jazz Aviation
The storm hit Airdrie about 3:30 p.m. MDT. Here is a radar image from the radar near Calgary at that time. The purple colors in the cell west of Airdrie indicate very high reflectivity of the radar indicative of heavy rain or hail. Click here to see a radar loop of this storm. Hit the play button (>) at the top of the image to start the loop.

Finally, here is a video posted on YouTube of the hail storm as it occurred near Irricana, Alberta. Irricana is located about 30 km east of Airdrie. The radar image at 1640 MDT shows the cell after it hit Airdrie and about the time it was over Irricana.  Except for the noise, this looks like it could have been recorded on January 6 instead of July 6. The hail reportedly accumulated to a depth of 12 inches in about 15 minutes.

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