Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Hit the road with one of Alberta's top storm chasers

Vlog 2: 'Foothills magic' leads to a rare sighting in Red Deer

The chase on July 6 may have been typical for storm chasers, but the results were nonetheless magnificent.

As warm moist air settled in against the foothills, cooler air higher in the atmosphere wanted to fall. The result is a clash between opposing forces; a cap breaks like a shaken pop bottle and a storm forms. Our analysis suggested that Red Deer would be the best place to check it out, and we were right.

The storm took the form of a low precipitation supercell. LP supercells are the rarest thunderstorms on earth, but the rising topography of the foothills helps bring them on. We chasers call this "foothills magic." It produces the most beautiful rotating clouds, like sculpted pillars of marble on an ancient building, which we caught on video.

Vlog 1: An introduction to storm chasing in Alberta

When the blue prairie sky turns a deep grey and the wind whips into a fury, most people with sense take shelter. A darkening horizon is when Nevin deMilliano ('17 Bachelor of Business Administration) and his network of storm chasers spring into action.

The founder of Agricast, which provides custom weather forcasting to farmers, often posts videos of his weather-following adventures on Twitter. @PrairieChasers is home to deMilliano and several other storm chasers in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

This summer, deMilliano is sharing his love of the chase with techlifetoday. This is the first installment in a vlog series that, when it comes to weather, really cuts to the chase.

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