Hail takes Airdrie gardeners by storm
A hail storm, which destroyed gardens in part of Airdrie on July 28, is part of a seasonal trend this summer in Alberta.
Airdrie resident Dawn Granley said she was not surprised by the storm but was disappointed with the resulting damage to her garden.
“My flowers were really mashed up and tattered,” she said. “My baskets were kind of shredded.”
She has become frustrated over battling with the weather while trying to maintain a manicured outdoor living space.
“I was disappointed because I put a lot of effort into making my flowers nice this summer,” she said. “Every time they start to look nice, there is a hail storm that messes them up. It’s disappointing when you work hard to make your yard look nice.”
The Thorburn resident said the storm that hit in the afternoon on July 28 lasted about 15 minutes.
“I think it was almost as big as a golf ball,” said Granley. “Probably two thirds the size.”
She wasn’t surprised by the storm, noting the weather is typical of Alberta
“It goes from one extreme to another very quickly,” she said, adding she barely made it indoors before the storm struck.
Though Airdrie resident of two years Kerry Ellis usually likes storms, she shared Granley’s frustration over the effects of the late-July hail.
She was concerned because her new flowerbed was ruined, but said there was little damage to her King’s Heights property.
“I have a black thumb, so I do everything I can to keep (my plants) alive,” Ellis said of her gardening abilities. “I was really lucky everything survived.”
Ellis said the storm was different from other hail storms she has seen in Airdrie.
“(The hail) was bigger, heavier stones than it was quantity,” she said. “They were huge.”
Environment Canada Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Dan Kulak said Alberta has seen more hail than average this summer.
“There have been 62 unofficial hail events. Normal is considerably less than that, about 50 or so,” Kulak said.
“With one week of July to go and all of August, we are already well ahead of the average for the whole summer.”
Kulak said Alberta is at the peak of severe weather for the season and to expect an array of weather day to day for the rest of the summer.
“These storms tend to linger until the latter part of August and sometimes even into September,” he said.
Kulak said the storms are nothing that the province hasn’t seen before, but they have been more noticeable this season, seemingly having hit in communities more often than vacant land.
He advised residents to prepare a storm plan for when extreme weather hits.
“(Alberta residents) should be aware of the fact that storms do happen in Alberta, they should have an understanding of what the forecasts are for their area, and have a knowledge about the sky,” he said. “Every resident should have a safety plan.”
For more information, about weather forecasts, watches and warnings, visit www.ec.gc.ca