Alberta Clippers

30th Jan 2014

The Midwest can’t seem to catch a break in the weather; right on the heels of the polar vortex comes a series of Alberta Clippers. These are another common atmospheric condition that brings frigid air as far south as Kentucky and Virginia.

While both a polar vortex and an Alberta clipper bring cold air, they have very little in common. A polar vortex is an ever-present high altitude weather system that is always over the north and south poles. An Alberta clipper is a fast moving and short lived weather system that moves through western and central Canada into the central and eastern United States.

The term ‘Alberta Clipper’ is actually quite descriptive of the system. These winds come into the US by way of the Canadian Provence of Alberta and cut diagonally across the central and eastern US. In weather terms, a ‘clipper’ describes a small and fast-moving weather system. These clippers form a division line with cold arctic air on the north side and warmer air on the south side. While an Alberta clipper is small and fast moving, it isn’t uncommon for there to be several moving one after another, creating a period of prolonged cold and snowy weather.

These clippers can drop a lot of snow, especially after traveling across the Great Lakes. To keep this snow from building up on your wipers, use Everblades® heated windshield wipers. They are specially designed to keep the wiper arm and squeegee free of ice and snow by using two independent heating elements. Meaning your wipers stay clean, no matter what comes at them.