Why the sun shines more on the Prairies than the rest of Canada

CBC Alberta and Saskatchewan have teamed up for a brand new pilot collection on climate and local weather change at the Prairies. Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga will convey her expert voice to the conversation to help explain climate phenomena and climate modification and the way it impacts lifestyle.

in case you are looking to seize some rays in Canada, your absolute best bet is to go to the Prairies. 

Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta lead the country in sunshine, with many groups in the ones provinces seeing more than 2,FOUR HUNDRED hours every year consistent with Atmosphere and Climate Amendment Canada. To Place that during standpoint, a few spaces alongside the Pacific coast see only one,TWO HUNDRED to at least one,FOUR HUNDRED hours of brilliant sunshine consistent with year.

Whilst a few communities, such as Yellowknife, may for my part see relatively just a little of sun, the region as an entire is the bull’s-eye for sunshine in the country.

the 2 provinces revel in more hours of sun as a result of, simply positioned, the prairie local weather is drier. 

Areas shut to special bodies of water get a lot more cloud cover and precipitation with all of that moisture-rich air, akin to the atmospheric river adventure we saw recently in B.C.

Edmonton sees a regular of 446 millimetres of precipitation a yr, with Calgary close at the back of at 419 millimetres. Regina and Saskatoon get 390 millimetres and 354 millimetres, respectively.

The Ones numbers pale when put next to Vancouver, where it is common to see 1,189 millimetres of precipitation in a 12 months.

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Without that consistent cloud duvet and rainy climate, the Prairies get a lot of light.

That abundance of solar is the explanation the Prairies are seeing a significant boost in a impulsively creating solar energy industry. 

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A Host of huge solar tasks are already underway to fulfill this potential, including the Travers Sun Undertaking in Lomond, Alta., and a proposed sun farm close to the Edmonton International Airport.

WATCH | Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga explains what’s at the back of the ones sunny Prairie skies: 

Why the sun shines more on the Prairies than the rest of Canada

What makes Alberta and Saskatchewan the sunniest provinces

12 days ago

Duration 1:27

Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga explains why a few cities in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan experience greater than 2,FOUR HUNDRED hours of sunny climate once a year. 1:27

Rain shadow effect

There are a choice of purposes the Prairies are so dry, however at the centre, as in real property, it’s all about location.

The western Prairies are a long approach from any significant source of moisture. the closest supply is the Pacific Ocean, but that moisture has fairly a journey to get to Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Regardless That Pacific moisture can make it to the Prairies, it has to move a large difficulty. That brings us to the second explanation for the Prairies’ sunny climate.

The western Prairies sit down in what’s known as a rain shadow.

Why the sun shines more on the Prairies than the rest of Canada

While air travels over the mountains, it loses so much of its moisture. (CBC Information)

Looking at the topography of Canada, we see Alberta has the Coast Mountains and Rocky Mountains to the west and plains to the east. Moisture-weighted down air coming off the Pacific Ocean hits the ones mountain ranges and rises. because it rises, it cools, and we get condensation and rain or snow.

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Through the time that air descends at the lee aspect in Alberta, it’s sapped of moisture.

Now, of course, Alberta and Saskatchewan do get rain, however rainfall tendencies at the Prairies vary from other spaces of Canada, which brings us to the third reason for such a lot sunshine.

Fast-transferring storms

The jet movement — the slender band of fast-moving air in the higher surroundings that directs our climate techniques — often leaves the Prairies with a large ridge of top drive.

Air in that high force sinks and frequently approach little to no cloud duvet, giving Alberta and Saskatchewan that beautiful blue sky they are recognized for. 

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While storms do occur, they are rapid-moving. Prairie weather methods reminiscent of Alberta clippers or Colorado lows can generate so much of water but then head on their means within a day or two.

the opposite large summer season storms at the Prairies are convective thunderstorms, which usually come within the night time after a relatively sunny day, so despite the fact that we do get those impressive cloud formations, most of the day nonetheless counts as a sunny one. 

Why the sun shines more on the Prairies than the rest of Canada

even supposing we will be able to get so much of rain and ambitious cloud formations all over thunderstorms, those storms frequently shape later after a sunny day. (Submitted by means of Matt Melnyk)

How could climate modification have an effect on sunshine?

As our local weather warms, you may also be considering, “ADEQUATE extra evaporation, more moisture within the air, that suggests extra clouds and no more sun.”

that can no longer be the case, on the other hand. 

As our air warms, our relationship with relative humidity changes to boot.


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So even supposing we could have extra water vapour within the air, because the air itself is hotter, the relative humidity is also corresponding to what it’s now.

that implies lets still have the similar amount of cloud duvet, but if those storms do hit, shall we see extra precipitation as a result of there’s extra water present.

So, extra rain or snow, but the same quantity of solar, although that may sound counterintuitive.

Our planet is changing. So is our journalism. This story is a part of a CBC Information initiative entitled Our Changing Planet to show and give an explanation for the results of climate modification and what is being done approximately it.

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