What’s an Albert Clipper?
Is it a boat? No. Is it a brand of hair clippers? No. Is it a wind storm that can freeze the flesh off of your bones? Yes, oh yes.
We here in North Dakota have been spoiled rotten with the weather this Autumn. By this time, in a normal year, we should have at least a foot of snow on the ground. We’ve been lucky in that we’ve had only one blizzard, and in the North Central part of the State, it’s all melted away and we are left with bare ground again.
Old Man Winter may not have been able to conjure up lasting snow for us, yet, but word has it that we are going to be having a series of Alberta Clippers sweeping through this week.
According to Wikipedia:
An Alberta clipper (also known as a Canadian Clipper) is a fast-moving low pressure area which generally affects the central provinces of Canada and parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Most clippers occur between December and February, but can also occur occasionally in the month of November. Alberta clippers take their name from Alberta, Canada, the province from which they appear to descend, and from clipper ships of the 19th century, one of the fastest ships of that time.
The storms sweep in at high-speed over whatever land they encounter, usually bringing with them sharp cold fronts and drastically lower temperatures. It is not uncommon for an Alberta clipper to cause temperatures to drop by 30°F (16°C) in as little as 10 to 12 hours. Often, the storms bring biting winds with them, only increasing the effect of the newly lower temperatures. Winds in advance of and during an Alberta clipper are frequently as high as 35 to 45 mph (56 to 72 km/h). These conditions would cause wind chill values to drop into the -20 to -50 Fahrenheit (-30 to -45 Celsius) range.
Oh well…the good weather couldn’t have lasted forever. The good news is that they generally don’t bring a lot of snow with them, so there’s something to be grateful for. Time to batten down the hatches and bundle up the children. The wind is going to blow hard and cold. Not the kind of thing you want to get caught outside in.
Something else that’s good news is that Thanksgiving is coming, and it’s an indoor activity!