Chinook Arch Alberta

The photos below show a Chinook Arch Cloud over Calgary Alberta Canada. Chinooks are only created in a few geographical locations on earth. The arch cloud and it's warm winds are created by distant coastal winds. Adiabatic warming of downward moving air coming off the leeward (eastern) Rocky Mountains. The local Indian natives called these Chinook winds "snow eater" as the warm wind melts away snow. A strong Chinook can melt all the ground snow in one day. It's not uncommon for Calgary, Alberta winter temperature to rise within 30 degrees in a matter of hours. The record Chinook temperature rise within 24 hours was on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana, the temperature rose from -48°C (-56°F) to 9°C (49°F). In 1962 Pincher Creek located 200kms south of Calgary, temperature rose by 41°C (from -19°C to 22°C) in one hour. Chinook winds can obtain speeds in excess of hurricane force, 120kmph. The most powerful recorded Chinook wind was 171kmph in Lethbridge, Alberta. Trains have been known to be derailed in this area. During the winter, driving can be treacherous as the wind blows snow across roadways sometimes causing roads to vanish and snowdrifts to pile up higher than 1 meter. Empty semi trucks driving along Highway 3 and other routes in southern Alberta have been blown over by high gusts of Chinook winds. City driving can also be treacherous when rising temperatures melt snow and ice on the roads. Streets become slushy and windshield wiper fluid is a must. Long time Calgarian's rarely get caught with no wiper fluid. Strong Chinooks are usually followed by more bad weather and snow fall. See this interesting site for Calgary Seasons photographs.

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Calgary Chinook Arch Cloud Bow River Chinook Arch Cloud
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Chinook Arch Cloud