A thunderstorm with snow is called thundersnow and it struck the British Columbia Interior just two days before the start of summer!
An unstable air mass bringing cold air from Alaska is to blame for the rare thundersnow which covered mountainous terrain in the Okanagan Valley with about 10 cm.
Snow fell above 1500 metres with a snow/rain mix down to 1100 metres and a chilly rain at sea level.
About 10 cm of snow was also expected in the Alberta Rockies from a similar system.
Heavy snow covers cars in Calgary, AB, 02 Oct 2018 (Twitter)
Late summer and early autumn have been cold in southern Alberta but a big snowfall suddenly made it seem like winter.
Heavy snow moved across the Rockies and the foothills today dumping between 20 and 40 cm of snow (including over 30 cm at Calgary International Airport).
Environment Canada warns the snow will continue into Wednesday morning with a few more centimetres expected.
Traffic also ground to a halt as vehicles became stranded on snowy and icy highways.
Snowy field near Turner Valley, AB, 21 August 2015 (Twitter)
A high pressure system coupled with a cool air mass brought frost and snow to Alberta late Friday and Saturday especially the Rockies and the foothills.
Parts of Calgary saw light snow but nothing was officially measured at the airport and much of the white stuff fell at higher elevations outside the city.
Most Albertans took it in stride since although August snow is rare it is not that unusual.
Temperatures have already recovered to more summer-like values with Environment Canada calling for highs in the low to mid 20s Celsius for the next few days.
Heavy, wet snow snaps tree branches in Calgary, AB, 10 Sept 2014 (Twitter)
Snow can fall in virtually any month of the year in Alberta – especially in the Rockies and the foothills – but even this seems a little unusual for Calgary.
Temperatures hovered near freezing as Calgary had its second dose of snow this week which brought down tree branches still laden with leaves and power lines.
Thousands lost power and many residents were calling city crews to help clean up fallen trees which had blocked streets, sidewalks and toppled onto vehicles.
Farmers are concerned about losses during the harvest season with the heavy, wet snow virtually flattening many crops.
Chain Lakes, AB, 03 Sept 2014 (Courtesy Global)
Several centimetres of snow fell today in southwestern Alberta, mainly in the foothills of the Rockies and other higher elevations.
Ski resorts were definitely excited about the fresh powder with many posting snow pictures on social media.
With slightly higher temperatures, Calgary managed to escape the snow and it rained instead.
Forecasters say warmer weather is on the way for the weekend.
The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration says 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the mainland United States.
The year consisted of a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.
The average temperature for 2012 was 12.9 C, 1.8 C above the 20th century average and 0.56 C above 1998, the previous warmest year.
The average precipitation total for the mainland U.S. for 2012 was 67.5 cm or 6.53 cm below average, making it the 15th driest year on record.
At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the U.S. with the Rockies, Great Plains and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions.
Snow in Calgary, 23 October 2012 (TWN)
Residents of southern Alberta and central Saskatchewan were digging out today after the first major snowstorm of the season.
Calgary received about 15 cm, Lethbridge had 24 cm and Brooks was walloped with about 30 cm.
Gusty winds also led to cold wind chills.
The early snow means some ski resorts in the Rockies will open this weekend giving skiers one of the earliest starts to the season ever.
Snow in Cranbrook, BC, 03 October 2012 (Courtesy TWN)
It may seem early for that dreaded “S” word, but snow is falling in parts of British Columbia and Alberta especially in the Rockies and the foothills.
As much as 10 cm of snow could fall in higher elevations and even Calgary saw a slight dusting.
Environment Canada notes it’s not that unusual since Calgary normally receives about 10 cm of snow during October.
Golfing in Regina, SK, 16 March 2012 (CTV)
Unbelievable heat has enveloped the Prairies and Ontario with temperatures climbing into the 20’s Celsius – the kind of warmth that is more typical of May than March.
Yesterday, Environment Canada indicated at least 17 communities in Saskatchewan set new record highs with Estevan being the warmest at 23.0 C smashing its previous record of 16.7 C.
In Manitoba, Brandon climbed to 21.3 C and it reached 21.2 C in Fort Frances, Ontario.
A large portion of the northern United States – from the Rockies to southern New England – has also been affected with literally hundreds of record highs being broken.
The record warmth is expected to continue for the next several days and could reach the Maritimes by early next week.