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2013 Thunderstorms Forecast for Alberta

By: Mikeman444 , 6:08 AM GMT on May 25, 2013

While only a few weak cells have been seen so far the thunderstorm season has started and could pick up at s lightning fast pace. Here are the details

At first I was doubtful it would be much of a season, the 2nd warmest May on record and developing drought threatened to snuff out moisture for the season ahead. At the end of May the hot and dry weather has been interrupted by one of 2 or 3 large scale rainstorms dumping 20-100mm each. Some areas could be in the 200mm range by the time conditions heat up again in June.

The hot air seems to be building from Texas and could be very dry. Temperatures in the mid 30s would not be out of the question, but it will not have much for moisture. However if enough moisture from the gulf mixes in with the hot air things could get quite volatile.

Several forecasts(such as from Accuweather) predict a dangerous cocktail of very hot air and high humidity.

Because the heat(humid or not) could get trapped in Alberta things could get interesting, Summer 2013 could smash records in Southern Alberta with periodic heat waves more to the north. If the pattern becomes blocked there is the risk of severe heatwave sending temps skyward with jungle humidity.

Summer 2013 Storm factors
+Plenty of cold air aloft to the north.
+Significant buildup of heat to the south, possibly record breaking.
-Potential blocking of air from the Gulf of Mexico
+Fair to good local moisture coming into the season
+Stronger wind shear than normal
-Too hot in Southern Alberta? Likely to dry out early resulting is quiet August

I'm calling for several patterns to be present during the summer.
The first being the hot dry air and the steamy gulf flow coming in for periods of about a week at a time, generally after a strong heatwave as the jet moves eastward opening the door to the Gulf of Mexico. The numbers could vary significantly thus the season could feature large scale outbreaks of severe weather.

Numbers observed at in vicinity of Wetaskiwin(10-15 miles)

Forecasts are for any similar 100 square mile area in Alberta, some areas may see more or less than the range given.
Generally 40-65 storms expected in Central Alberta, 30-45 in both northern and southern Alberta.
Generally on par with the last 3 years.
2013 looks to be just as hard on insurance firms, if not harder than 2012.

May: 9 storms observed so far, 4 weak, 2 moderate,. 2 strong, 1 severe
1 or 2 more storms expected

June: Rapid start once heat builds up after a wet end to May. 10-15 storms.

July: Extremely active with significant outbreaks.
25-35 storms.

August: High heat from the south leads to things drying out early reducing the number of storms.
5-12 storms

September: Very dry, likely very little for storms.
less than 3 storms expected

October: While 2012 feature quite the storms in Central Alberta, 2013 is unlikely to continue the trend.
No storms expected

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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