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Monday, February 11, 2013

Alberta clipper






Average trajectory of an Alberta Clipper

This is straight from my other friend, Wikipedia, who follows Google as my hero. With apologies to Jane.  I would never call it a Canadian Clipper, or even a Canada Clipper.  Actually, I like Alberta as a name.  My friend Linda’s mother’s name is Alberta, and the clipper lives up to that name.  Our Alberta ran a dairy farm in New York, raised kids, fed the hired hands and took over the family fertilizer business when necessary.  Alberta is ninety five.  She could do it all over again tomorrow, if asked.

As the Alberta clipper heads down to Ohio, it passes over several Great Lakes.  By itself the clipper is not a great snow maker, perhaps a couple of inches.  But over an open great lake, it picks up moisture.  Over two or three great lakes it picks up a great deal of moisture.  Lake Erie is the third great lake the clipper passes over on its way to my house, if that is it's destination.

Now I live on top of a ridge that marks the division between the Lake Erie watershed and the Ohio River watershed.  The Cuyahoga River, two miles down the hill north and west of me, flows into Lake Erie.  I remember learning in geography that it rains along the west coast because storms come off the Pacific Ocean, slam into the Cascade Mountains and drop all the rain on the west side.  Great American Desert on the east side, broad brushing it.

That’s what happens here in northeastern Ohio.  All that moisture hits the watershed ridge and drops as snow.  And, where squalls persist, to quote one weatherman, even more snow.  All accompanied by leaden grey skies and blustery winds.  Akron, Ohio, ten miles south of us, may only get a dusting.  Alberta hit the ridge and dumped the snow up here
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Alberta Clippers mean take the kids to the bus in the morning, and maybe even wait there for them at night.  They mean stay home if you don’t need to go out, stay warm, read a book or get out some sewing.  They aren’t all that bad.  And, they may be over for the winter.  We’re half way through the month this week.

19 comments:

  1. Funny...we don't have any special names for all the storm masses that come our way from the Excited States..other than a few we can't print here lol.

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  2. It's good that all that melting snow will run into Lake Erie and help raise the level.

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  3. Let's blame Albertans....Ontarians usually do!
    Jane x

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  4. Did you notice that they never name good weather patterns.

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  5. Thank you kindly, Joanne. I get it! My mother said your problems started in the Rockies. I said, NO way! You said, yes sirree, they do--the Rockies of Canada!

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  6. Sounds like a good idea to stay home if one can during these clippers!!

    betty

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  7. Snow isn't bad unless you have to get somewhere, the power goes off, or you're stranded in it.

    Wait, that doesn't leave many scenarios where snow's okay, does it? Just the one: home, with a working microwave to make popcorn, snuggled under a blanket reading a good book :)

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  8. Nice post, Joanne!Hope you are nice and cosy and wrapped in a good book!

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  9. Alberta Clippers sometimes take a right turn and head south. When they come down over us they bring high pressure, north wind and temps so cold spit freezes before it hits the ground. Boiling water tossed into Alberta Clipper air vaporizes. Sometimes it comes over us and sits for weeks. Not wishing bad on anyone but we like it when it misses us.

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  10. I hope it misses our daughter in Illinois. She's awfully tired of shoveling snow and avoiding ice patches. I'm sending you warm aloha from Hawaii.

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  11. Weather was a mystery back in my childhood. Now, forecasting actually means something. Hope you are seeing the end of winter soon.

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  12. That was so interesting and yes, Alberta is a lovely name for a girl.

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  13. As I looked out of the window this morning (in Yorkshire, UK) I said to my wife "where on earth is all this snow coming from?" Now I know. Thank you Alberta.

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  14. Dear Joanne, thanks for explaining the terminology to us. I lived in Minnesota for thirty-eight years and the meteorologists used the term often but I've never heard an explanation.

    I'm wondering if that lake-effect is why Buffalo, New York, gets so much snow each winter. Peace.

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  15. Joanne, thanks for this interesting bit of information which I shall share with my friends in Boston when they complain about their N'oreasters.

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  16. Happy Valentines Day and congratulations...you are the winner of the Valentine give-a-way on thefeatherednest. email me your mailing address to ournest@live.ca and your prize will be winging its way to you.

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  17. never knew of an alberta clipper, once almost got lost in a snowstorm in Chicago as a young child just dropped off by the bus, it was a white out, finally made it home, couldn't see two feet in front of me so it was hard to find our building.

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  18. For a smaller state, Ohio has such varied weather. When I lived in Cincinnati it hardly ever snowed and if it did, it was maybe 1". Columbus has more snow, but nothing like up North. I actually miss the real snow storms we used to have in NE Ohio (even though I wasn't as far North as you guys are).

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