How Many Tornadoes in Alberta?
Mother Nature is wildly unpredictable. Especially in the Alberta. There are many variables that affect weather patterns in this region.
How many tornadoes are there in Alberta? Alberta averages around 10 tornadoes per year. This is a 4 year average from 2018 to 2021. The actual average is 9.75.
These are confirmed tornadoes in Alberta from the Northern Tornado Project (NTP). Not all tornadoes are necessarily confirmed or even detected. Though, with the sophisticated detection these days, most are.
As technology improves over the years, it may seem as though instances are increasing. While there may be some truth to that, it is mostly an increase in detection due to better weather detection and scientific knowledge. There has also been an increase in independent storm trackers that report what they see.
This is why we decided to use a recent 4 year span from the NTP to calculate an average.
Using data from way back in our history may not be a good representation of a number you can expect today. The detection methods were not as advanced, and there may be some climate differences since then.
If you are curious about past Alberta tornadoes and details about them, check out Alberta’s Tornado History here.
Here is a chart showing the number of Alberta Tornadoes per year from 2018 to 2021. We will continue to update this data moving forward.
|Year||# of Tornadoes|
As you can see, these numbers can range wildly. Our average of 9 or 10 does not tell the whole story.
When is Tornado Season in Alberta?
Alberta’s tornado season spans from May to September. Most tornadoes occur from the middle of June to the first part of August. This is when conditions are most favourable for storms that can create funnel clouds.
Is Alberta Part of Tornado Alley?
When people talk about Tornado Alley, they are typically referring to the one in the United States. It is the name of a general area of central USA that has the highest frequency of tornadoes.
This area was first named in the 1950s, and has been popularized in the news and pop culture.
If the questions is ”Does the well known Tornado Alley extend from the United States into Alberta”, the answer is no.
While some experts have proposed different ways of defining regions, many experts would argue that a true defining factor would be the main source of the moisture.
The Gulf of Mexico is the main source of moisture that contributes to the Tornado Alley in the USA. The Pacific Ocean is the moisture source for the Canadian Tornado Alley that extends into Alberta.
- Alberta averages 9.75 tornadoes per year. (From 2018 to 2021).
- Tornado season is from May to September, though there are outliers. The highest frequency of Alberta tornadoes tends to be in the peak hot summer months of June to August.
- Alberta is technically not an extension of the famous tornado alley in the states. Canada has it’s own regions of high tornado activity. Some would agree that Canada has 2 Tornado Alleys. One in the prairies in the West (including Alberta), and one in the East around the Ontario region.