A motorist makes her way to her vehicle during a late summer snow storm in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Snowfall warnings were issued for much Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
A rare summer snowstorm struck one of Canada’s largest cities Monday, leaving residents alternately thrilled or annoyed as trees in full leaf strained under the weight of an otherwise picturesque snowfall.
The snow struck much of Alberta province in western Canada, along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and the adjacent prairies, bringing as much as 20 centimeters (8 inches) of snow to a few spots.
Calgary, the province’s largest city at a population of 1 million, started the day with light rain during the morning rush hour, but changed to snow shortly afterward. Calgary International Airport reported 9 centimeters (about 3.5 inches) of snow as of Monday night.
(FORECAST: More Snow Possible in Calgary)
Shocking as the snow was to many, it may not have even been a record for the date, and it certainly wasn’t the city’s earliest late-summer snowfall. Calgary recorded 11.7 centimeters (just under 5 inches) of snow on Sept. 8 in 1921, according to Environment Canada statistics.
The earliest single-day snowfall of 10 centimeters (4 inches) or more there was on Sept. 6, 1972, but Calgary had a two-day total of 10.4 centimeters on Aug. 25-26, 1900.
It even snowed in Calgary once in July, when 0.3 centimeter (0.1 inch) fell on July 23, 1918.
September has, on average, 1-2 days of measurable snow in Calgary. On average, only one September day every three years sees at least 5 centimeters (just under 2 inches) of snow. Nonetheless, Monday’s snow was an attention-grabber, especially coming so early in the month and just a day after Sunday’s high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Calgary Herald reported 114 car crashes in the city, more than double the count on an average day. The newspaper’s website said thunder was reported with a heavier band of snow in the area Monday afternoon. Some tree branches broke, resulting in power outages in the city, according to CBC News.
Environment Canada, the country’s equivalent of the National Weather Service, posted snowfall warnings for much of southern Alberta. Another round of snow is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday, tapering off Wednesday afternoon. This additional wet snow could trigger additional downed tree branches and power outages.
Some of that snow will spill over the international border in the coming days, and the cold air will sweep across a large part of the U.S. this week.
(MORE: First Frost, First Snow Ahead?)
Here are just some of the many photos and videos of the summer snow posted to social media by residents of Calgary, or “YYC” as it’s affectionately tagged, after the city’s airport code.
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50. Florida: 4 inches
Milton, Fla., just northeast of Pensacola, had 4 inches of snow on the ground on March 6, 1954. It all fell in one day, making it the state’s heaviest one-day snowfall as well. Image: Snow in Ocala on Jan. 9, 2010. (iWitness Weather/SONBON)