Vintage Photos of Blizzards and Snow from Alberta

Every year since 1818, the Farmers’ Almanac has provided long-range weather predictions that can help you plan for the season ahead. So what’s the almanac predicting for this year’s winter in Alberta? In terms of snowfall, they’re predicting accumulation at near-normal levels, but with noticeable fluctuations from month-to-month. Meaning, all those powder hounds out there, will have reason to rejoice! Just because we’re used to frigid temperatures out west, doesn’t mean we enjoy them. The almanac is again predicting near normal temperatures for Western Canada, with February being particularly cold across much of the Rockies and prairies. Unfortunately, we might have a later spring as unseasonably colder temperatures will be gripping much of the nation at the time of the spring equinox. Whether you believe the Farmers’ Almanac predictions or not, it’s still fun to read about what we might have in store for us this winter. And while you’re waiting around to see if their forecast will be correct, why not enjoy this vintage collection of photographs that depict life in Alberta after recent blizzards.

Mrs. Ernest Peacock, Hand Hills, Alberta, 1951
Dead cattle in snow. On Gilchrist farm. During a bad spring blizzard the cattle piled up in fence corners and smothered to death. Manyberries area, Alberta, 1938
Calf in blizzard on Caleb Jones’ Ranch, Dorothy, Alberta, 1948-1949
Cattle after blizzard on Caleb Jone’s Ranch, Dorothy, Alberta, 1948-1949
Blizzard, Lethbridge area, Alberta, 1912
Spring blizzard on Monarch ranch, Buffalo area, Alberta, 1938
Cow making way along track after blizzard. Drumheller area, Alberta, 1948
Shovelling out snow around house, Hemaruka area, Alberta, 1972
Mrs. Laura Moore at Pierce’s farm. Farm located near Horse Shoe Canyon. Blizzard took place on May 2, Drumheller area, Alberta, 1919
Snow storm, Calgary, Alberta, 1956
Winter snow and ice, Calgary, Alberta, 1956
George Barclay Bruce family outside in winter clothing after a blizzard. Caption reads ‘And now the blizzard’s blast they bear at 40 below zero’. Calgary, Alberta, 1894
Springfield Ranch house in winter, Beynon, Alberta, 1910
Cattle feed brought in by helicopter after devastating blizzard, Lethbridge, Alberta, 1967
Main street, Kitscoty, after a blizzard, 1938. Object #A15229
Businesses on street in Kitscoty with snow drifts after a blizzard, 1938. Object #A15231
View of Kitscoty residential area with large snow drifts, 1938. Object #A15232
Horse and man standing on wagon in front of large snow drift on street in Kitscoty, 1938. Object #A15233
The Canadian Bank of Commerce, Kitscoty, with large snow drift in front, 1938. Object #A15234

For additional posts about extreme weather, please visit these previous stories: Historical Photos of Tornadoes and their Destruction and Wild Jobs: Storm Chaser.

Group of people posing in snow drift in front of the barbershop after a blizzard in Kitscoty, 1938. Object #A15235

The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives and the Provincial Archives of Alberta. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on the photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. If you search the object number that can be found in the photo captions, you will find additional information about the photographs on the Provincial Archives website. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

About Tyler Dixon 199 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.