Calgary was hit by some solid snowfall over the weekend and one Reddit post has Albertans debating whether YEG or YYC have harsher winters.
“Every year, Calgary gets snow earlier than Edmonton. But somehow every Calgarian is convinced that Edmonton’s winters are so extreme, it’s a frozen arctic wasteland compared to Calgary,” the post reads.
The post received hundreds of upvotes and nearly 150 comments, with many pointing out that many people suspect Edmonton will get a flurry of snow before Calgary does.
“Contrary to popular belief, Calgary, being further south, does not give them a warmer climate, and that is because of elevation differences. Calgary is about 400 meters higher than Edmonton, which is why Calgary gets frost and snow earlier in the fall and later in the spring than Edmonton, even though it is further south. Four hundred meters of altitude makes a much bigger difference than two degrees of latitude,” wrote one user.
“In the Calgary area I was not successful growing tomatoes, while in Edmonton there was no problem. Growing season is an extra month in Edmonton,” said another.
“Lived in Calgary for 10 years, Edmonton for 4. The Chinook helps and Edmonton was the only place I could experience -42°C (with windchill),” one user said, with another saying that when moved to Calgary from Toronto they experienced -40°C cooling there.
Many users said that Calgary’s chinooks certainly help make the winter season seem less harsh, while Edmonton lacks it, but some disagreed.
“Edmonton winters are harsh. Calgary winters are harsh. The phenomenon of Calgarians portraying Edmonton’s winters as unlivable as if they were living in a Chinook tropical oasis is such a fascinating mass delusion,” the original poster said.
If you’re curious, we spoke to an expert at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and they combed through the last 10 years of data for when the first significant snowfall occurred in Edmonton and Calgary. Look!