Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 09/12/2014


Photo taken on August 28, 2014


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Menacing

Menacing
From 26 to 28 August, I was lucky enough to go with friends Cathy and Terry down to Waterton Lakes National Park and then further east on the third day. Fantastic scenery, 4 Black Bears (including one that was swimming in the lake), Bison, Deer, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, various bird species including Burrowing Owls and a family of Dusky Grouse, a few wildflowers, several Yellow-bellied Marmots (a first for me!), and a few different insect species. I even got the chance to see three or four new-to-me old, wooden grain elevators.

The weather forecast that I saw before we left Calgary said that we were in for three beautiful days of sunshine. So, luck was on our side, giving us warm, sunny days - until the BIG STORM hit! We had driven eastwards from the park, hoping to see Yellow-bellied Marmots and, if we were really lucky, a Burrowing Owl. The storm was approaching very fast, around 5:00 p.m. just before we started our return trip to Calgary. It was like nothing I had ever seen before - a menacing cloud that was travelling fast and furious. This photo was taken one minute after the photo in a comment box below. Despite trying our best to get away from it, it eventually engulfed our car, surrounding us with more or less zero visibility, pounding hail, thunder and lightning, and tremendously strong winds. There was nothing to do but stop the car and sit tight, hoping that the hail would not break the car windows and that this severe thunderstorm would not develop into a tornado! This storm was very scary, but at the same time, exciting (only because all turned out OK in the end!). Fortunately, we weren't caught in the very centre of it. Our road trip sure went out with a bang! Later, I contacted the Alberta Tornado Watch and posted a photo for them to see. They said the storm that happened that day was a mesocyclone.

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