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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Heavy snowfall abnormal this time of year in Canada

 About 20 centimetres of snow fell in Sundre last week, which Environment Canada officials say is abnormal for this time of year.
David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said Sundre receives five centimetres of snow on average throughout the month of September.
The highest recorded September snowfall for Sundre was 24 centimetres in 1972.
The heavy snowfall last week caused many trees to break in some areas, as well as power outages in some parts of town.
“Typically when your trees lose the leaves, the snow doesn’t normally stick and therefore doesn’t weigh down on the trees, where you can get a lot of damage,” explained Phillips.
“That creates enormous stress on trees.”
He said Sundre reached a low of -7.7 C on Thursday, Sept. 11.
“That is not just a nippy little frost. That’s a killing frost. I mean essentially the growing season is over,” he said. “All the liquid or moisture in seed or in vegetation would be frozen.”
The level of frost in September is usually not enough to kill vegetation, he said.
The average temperature for Sundre in September is 10 C, but this month so far, the average has been 7.5 C, he noted.
However, he said Sundre will see warmer temperatures this week, and that summer is not over yet.
“Our sense is that winter doesn’t look like it’s going to be nearly as tough as last year, won’t be as long, won’t be as intense. But it’s not something you can perfectly forecast when summer is not even over yet.”

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