Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Alberta clipper stirs memories of 1977 clipper

Almost 30 years ago to the day, the monstrous Alberta Clipper of 1977 roared through the Delaware Valley wreaking havoc on all in its path. Snow fell on streets, driveways, sidewalks, rooftops, trees, gardens, parks, parking lots, fields, and cars--basically most everything that was outside.

Alberta Clippers are fast moving snow storms that develop in the plains of Alberta, Canada, and race southeast toward the east coast of the US.

Watching today's Clipper out of his kitchen window, Harry Baldwin, 81, of Roxborough, Philadelphia, recalled the '77 storm: "They weren't called Alberta Clippers back then, they were called Northern Plains Critters and that 1977 storm was one I will never forget."

Clippers can dump anywhere from a trace to 2 inches of snow in an area, but the 1977 storm left 2.7 inches in its wake.

"If I'm remembering correctly I think they closed the schools, but I could be thinking of another storm. That's right, they did close the schools, but I had the darndest time locating my snow shovel," said Baldwin.

Because the storms can possibly economically benefit the ski resorts in their paths, the government of the Province of Alberta requested the storms be referred to as Alberta Clippers in 1989.

"We wanted American skiers to think that this was a very special snow package sent from the Province of Alberta, Canada, and to come and stay in our hotels and spend your money here as appreciation," said Timothy McDevitt, Alberta's Lord of Tourism and Queen Visits.

No comments: