Hail Alley in Alberta – We Get Hit Again

Now and then simple country raindrops are tempted by a dark cloud full of icy sirens to stay aloft for a while. A party gets going, and when every drop has drunk too much and has grown bloated and chilled to the bone, the cloud simply bursts at the seams.

The result is Hail, and here in Hail Alley it is a guaranteed event at least a couple times each summer. Last week we were pelted with the largest hail stones we have ever had here at the Red House. While most of the stones were the size of marbles, many had grown to about the size of a quarter.

quarter sizeThe Car Guy and I watched the stones batter the house, vehicles, and plants. When the deluge stopped, I ventured out with my camera to record the damage.

The Virginia Creeper on the front patio was badly beaten.

The vegetable garden won’t be a buffet for the deer anymore!

On the bright side, the clouds beyond the hay field were pretty awesome!

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
– Patrick Young –


18 thoughts on “Hail Alley in Alberta – We Get Hit Again

  1. You said you are in “Hail Alley” how many times a year do you get hail and what is the alley that is affected? When I lived in SLC we had what was called “Lake Effect”. It came across the Salt Lake and picked up humidity. The southern part of the valley was dry as a bone but we would get a few feet of snow! Your article reminded me the lake effect.


    1. Hi Amanda – Hail Alley, or Hailstorm Alley is normally considered to be the high plains immediately east of the Rocky Mountains. This area extends from northern Alberta into Montana and continues southeast to include eastern parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The area also covers most of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and west Texas.

      Alberta normally sees about 40 hail storms during hail season, but some years has twice that many. We normally see 3 or 4 here at the Red House, and invariably the garden gets flattened!


    1. Hi Pegoleg – Thanks for naming the rolls of hay. I just hope I never come across a giant or a beast that could pick one up and eat it in one bite!


  2. Hi,
    Hail storms can be very damaging, we get a few here as well. We have been lucky the last couple of summers they have only been small hail, but when the wind gets behind the large hail and starts driving it through glass etc. it can be terrifying.

    I love your pictures, especially the different storm clouds, it’s unreal the different color clouds that a storm produces.


    1. Hi Mag – Every year we get reports of golf ball or baseball size hail in places near us. I hope I never see that here!


    1. Hi Army Amy – What would we talk about if we couldn’t talk about the weather and what a surprise it always is!


  3. And sometimes if its damaging enough you can get yourself a new roof! We have brand new roofs on our house and barns from a hail storm about a year ago. We have those shredded wheat rolls around us all the time too. That is a great shot!


    1. Thanks BRC – Our roof is thick old cedar shakes – hail hasn’t done any appreciable damage yet…

      Most of the farmers around here make the shredded wheat rolls. A few are still doing the rectangular bails. On a few occasions we have been at the Pioneer Acres when they are making stooks!


  4. Sorry to see and hear about the hail damage. We have had a couple of nasty storms this summer. The last one left the area looking like a war zone. We had many trees come down, power lines snap and power lines down. We were without power for several hours and had to get out the camping equipment so we could make coffee. There was a run on people buying up power generators. We weren’t one of them. We bought blocks of ice and put them in the fridge and freezers. it worked out fine. We were very lucky. We didn’t have any damage at our place. We got to spend several hours helping various neighbours take down trees, delimb them, saw them up into logs and help cart all the branches to the dump. The down part was losing all the trees. The plus was the way everyone pulled together and helped one another out. All our kids and grandkids were here at the time and also pitched in to help. It is quite something to see what Mother Nature can do when she is ticked!


    1. Hi Ev – Glad to hear that everyone is safe and sound! It is unfortunate that the trees were damaged, but I suppose it is natures way of pruning. It certainly is wonderful, though, when the community unites to help each other out.
      But tell me, does camp coffee taste as good for real as it does in memory?


        1. Hi Ev – I always enjoyed the smell of coffee when we went camping, though I never drank it myself. I still don’t drink coffee, unless it has been modified with several liqueurs and a dollop of whip cream.


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