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Deep freeze to devastating hail: Calgary weather in 2020

Last Updated Dec 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm MDT

A hail damaged car parked on a flooded street as residents begin cleaning up in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 14, 2020, after a major hail storm damaged homes and flooded streets on Saturday. The powerful hail storm that pounded homes, vehicles and crops across parts of southern Alberta on June 13 caused almost $1.2 billion in insured damage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Wild weather and record-breaking temperatures were some of the non-pandemic related stories of 2020, as Calgarians tried to stay warm during a January deep freeze, dealt with a storm-filled summer and basked in a mild November.


Temperatures plunged in January as the province felt its first deep freeze of 2020.

Arctic air moved in, freezing the province and for Calgary, the coldest recorded high that week was on January 14 with a high of just -28.4 and our warmest high at -18.1.

In southern Alberta, the lowest recorded temperatures were between -35 C and -30 C, while most of the province north of Calgary experienced -38 C or lower. By Jan. 20, the cold spell was over, and a chinook brought our temperatures back into high single digits, and we did end January on a positive note.


A cloud larger than Mount Everest spun over Calgary on June 13.

The hailstorm that hit Calgary that day cost at least $1.5 billion in insured damages, making it the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history. Airdrie and Rocky View County were hit hard, but in northeast Calgary, hundreds of homes and cars were severely damaged, with siding ripped from homes and car windows smashed by hail the size of baseballs.

READ MORE: Calgary launches tax relief program to assist June hailstorm victims

Rain also flooded parts of Deerfoot Trail, and emergency crews needed to use their rescue boat to help trapped drivers.

For northeast residents, fewer than half of the 70,000 insurance claims have been resolved to date.


Alberta typically sees 15 tornadoes per year, with the peak season starting mid-to-late June and ending early-to-mid August.

RELATED: Environment Canada confirms two tornadoes in Alberta Monday

Tornado season was busy this year in Alberta, recording nine tornados by July and confirming three more in August. Calgary heard two tornado warnings over the summer months, but none touched down within city limits.

The 2020 count stands at 12 tornadoes, with most of them being rated an EF0 — the weakest on the scale.

The busiest season was in 1988 when there were 26 confirmed tornadoes.


We started off November on a warm streak and record-breaking high temperatures.

The city of Calgary saw a high of 23.1 on Nov. 2, which not only broke a November temperature record but also topped the previous record that dated back to 1881. That daytime high is now the city’s warmest November temperature in history.

The average temperature for November this year was 6 degrees. Eighteen of the days were above seasonal and only one November day had seasonal average highs.

Calgary wasn’t the only city setting records. Drumheller broke a provincial record on Nov. 2, with a daytime high of 25.9°C.

Alberta’s previous monthly record was 25.0°C, set in Foremost on Nov. 7, 1999.