Pincher Creek, Alberta – Cool can disappear real fast when a chinook shows up. Named for a First Nation’s term for ‘snow eater’, it’s a wind that blows from the Pacific, gives up its moisture to rise over the Rockies, then packing warm dry air races down the eastern slopes of the mountains, shooting up the temperature on the prairies at an amazingly fast pace. The record in Canada is 41 C (-19 C to 22 C) in one hour in 1962, at Pincher Creek. A whole region of southern Alberta from Pincher north to the Calgary city limits, markets itself as ‘Chinook Country and averages 30-35 chinooks per year.
Where: The town of Pincher creek is the self-proclaimed wind capital of Canada. In January 2004 it produced 30 % of Canada’s wind energy with 145 wind turbines. It’s located in the heart of ridin’, ropin’ and ranglin’ territory, near the British Columbia and Montana borders, and is known for its heart-tugging Cowboy Poetry Weekend held each June. You’ll find it at the southern end of the the Cowboy Trail, a 640 km (400-mile) tourist route that leads past working ranches, small-town rodeos and country fairs.
Pincher Creek, Pincher Creek Division No. 3 AB