Higher UV levels predicted for this summer

UV levels are expected to be about 4% higher than pre-1980 levels this summer, due to the ongoing thinning of the ozone layer, according to Environment Canada scientists.

The ozone layer, in the upper atmosphere, continues to show some depletion over Canada. During the past winter, the ozone layer thinned, on average, by about 5%, worsening to 7% below normal in early spring. This depletion is expected to continue throughout the summer, at slightly reduced levels. These values are compared to the normal thickness of the ozone layer, before 1980, when ozone depletion was first recorded.

Exposure to UV rays from the sun increases the risk of sunburn, skin cancers and cataracts and could weaken the immune system. The increased UV levels expected this summer would add to these risks.

Environment Canada scientists created the UV index in 1992, and it is now used around the world to safeguard people from overexposure to the sun.

Despite a significant decline in the use of ozone-depleting chemicals, ozone loss continues and is particularly severe annually over the Antarctic and in some years over the Arctic. Scientists are concerned that climate change may now be contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer.

The UV index is included in Environment Canada’s daily weather forecast whenever values are expected to be greater than 3. Use the UV Index forecast as a guide and take precautions when exposed to the sun.

For daily weather reports in Canada, please click HERE.

Article from Environment Canada’s World Wide Web Site.

Snow hits the Bow Valley again in late April!

After experiencing temperatures in the twenties (degree centigrade) yesterday, just over night, the clouds came in the covered the Bow Valley with snow again. The golf courses had started to turn green, and the bears had started to wake up, now everything is once again a wintery white.

This is great news for skiers and snowboarders, as Lake Louise, Sunshine and Jasper Marmot Basin are still open and going strong. There are some great last minute deals to get out here, and the ski hills are very quiet this time of year!

Why such a rapid temperature change?

Rapid temperature changes are quite normal here in the Canadian Rockies. They are due to Chinook winds which usually begin with a sudden change in wind direction over the Pacific Ocean, towards the west or southwest, and with a rapid increase in wind speed.

These winds move across B.C. towards the Rockies. As these winds move across the barrier of mountains (the Rockies), they often push a band of clouds in front of them, which are visible on the western horizon. The curvature of the Earth makes this band of clouds appear like an arch. This is often a distinct feature of a Chinook.

These winds are not as obvious in the summer, when the temperature change is not so dramatic. But for now, the post-Chinook situation means great conditions for skiers and snowboards, and an awesome wrap up for a fantastic season.

For last minute deals, please contact rocky-peak Holidays, vacation specialists in the Canadian Rockies.

For current weather conditions, click HERE.

Extreme Skiing and Snowboarding filmed at Castle Mountain, Alberta

The legendary Warren Miller Entertainment crew from Skitheworld Productions Inc. has just finished filming on the slopes of Castle Mountain Resort in Pincher Creek.

Warren Miller films are known for their incredible skiing and snow boarding manoeuvres in stunning settings around the globe. Fifty million viewers worldwide will see Warren Miller’s annual feature when it is released this fall.

Warren Miller’s other recent Alberta ski flick, Impact, was filmed in the Canadian Rockies in 2004. Impact featured three Alberta ski resorts for the first time in a decade – Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Jasper Marmot Basin.

The Skitheworld crew began filming, in partnership with Travel Alberta, Monday, April 10 and had finished by Saturday, April 15. Five hand-picked, expert skiers and snowboarders, led by skier Peter Hodgson of Pincher Creek and Calgary snowboarder Joey Vosburgh, starred in the film. Other talent includes rider Dave Basterrechea of Itetchum, Idaho, and skiers Davey Barr and Caroline L’Heureux, both of Whistler, B.C.

Castle Mountain is located two and a half hours south of Calgary, near the Continental Divide. Please contact rocky-peak Holidays for more information.

source: travelalberta.com