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1951::Calgary's Record Snow Storm in June

Updated: Jul 7

A late-spring snowfall wreaks havoc in the prairie city.

1951::Record snowfall hits Calgary in June.

"1951::Record Snowfall: 8th Avenue and 1st Street E."

Photo: Times Colonist (1951)

Victoria, British Columbia

June 6, 1951

It was practically summer. But as Calgarians slept snugly in their beds, a freak snowstorm came to town. Blowing snow had hit Alberta hard between the rocky mountains and the Saskatchewan border, and Calgary was right in the middle of it. As much as 7 inches fell on the city, 36 inches on the nearby foothills. Residents woke up to chaos.

1951::Record snowfall downs trees on Elbow Drive in Calgary, Alberta.

"1951::Downed Trees on Elbow Drive"

Photo Clip: Calgary Herald (1951)

Calgary, Alberta

The storm had done its worst. The city's primary communication system had been disabled. Sleet and snow driven by high winds weighed heavy on its lines causing poles to fall and wires to snap. Flights arriving at Calgary's airport had to be rerouted. Trolleys became unhitched, and their entangled lines blocked roadways for hours. In some cases, roads were rendered inaccessible. The estimated cost of damages soared to over a million dollars.

1951::Freak storm drops hailstones the size of golf balls on Calgary, Alberta.

"1951::Hail Pummels 1st Street W. at 7th Avenue"

Photo Clip: Calgary Herald (1951)

Calgary, Alberta

Days later, hail the size of golf balls battered the city again, and heavy rains caused floods and landslides. The storm made headlines around the continent. It was considered the most unusual to hit Alberta since an inch of snow blanketed Calgary in the middle of summer 1918.


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