Remembering Saskatchewan’s 10 worst weather events – Saskatchewan

If there is one thing Saskatchewanians love to hate, it’s the weather — which is easy in a province known for weather extremes.

As we lead up to Canada’s 150th birthday, we decided to take a stroll through the history books, looking at some of Saskatchewan’s infamous weather events.

1. Regina tornado (June 30, 1912)

It was hot and muggy on June 30, 1912. Wascana Park was bustling with people soaking up the heat.

But what started as a beautiful summer day took a turn. Just before 5 p.m. CST, the clouds started to build with a dangerous green tinge.

Then, a strong cyclone touched down south of Regina. It travelled north, tearing through neighbourhoods north of Wascana Lake and the downtown. 

This tornado is ranked as the deadliest cyclone in Canadian history. Twenty-eight people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. Houses and businesses were flattened, leaving  $1.2 million in property damage and 2,500 people without homes.

2. Hottest temperature in Canada (July 5, 1937)

Though southern Ontario is known for its hot summers, Saskatchewan has its own place in the record books.

On July 5, 1937, the mercury rose to 45 C in Yellow Grass, Sask., which is the hottest temperature officially recorded in Canada.

Yellow Grass is 75 kilometres southeast of Regina.

3. Kamsack cyclone (Aug. 9, 1944)

On Aug. 9, 1944, when most eyes were on Europe, the skies opened up over Kamsack, Sask., northeast of Yorkton by the Manitoba border.

A powerful tornado ripped through the small town, killing three people and injuring many others. The twister destroyed 400 houses,100 businesses and caused $2 million in damages.

Veterans returning from overseas came home to a different battleground: helping with the community’s rebuild. This led to the community’s biggest building boom in its history.

4. Winter of 1947

Saskatchewan is well-known for rough winters but many consider the winter of 1947 to be the worst. Storms began just after Christmas and continued on and off for weeks.

On Jan. 30, 1947, a 10-day blizzard rolled through the south of the province, effectively shutting it down.

Ronda Harrison shared this photo of a Saskatchewan blizzard in 1947 on CBC Saskatoon’s Facebook page. (Ronda Harrison)

The snow drifts blocked roads and rail lines from Calgary all the way to Winnipeg, some until spring. Only the tops of telephone poles…

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