Weather and Climate
Reach Up and Touch the Clouds
Due to the higher elevation, the Cypress Hills experience temperatures that are a few degrees lower than the surrounding area and experience more precipitation.
As air masses approach the Cypress Hills they are forced up and over the plateau. With each 100 meter increase in altitude, the temperature drops about 1ºC. When air cools, clouds form and precipitation begins to fall. The top of the plateau receives about 100 millimeters more precipitation than the base.
Due to the increased cloud formation and thunderstorms at this altitude, the Cypress Hills have also been called "The Thunder Breeding Hills".
Watch for the Chinook Arch
The warm dry air of the Chinook wind flows across the prairie, potentially raising the air temperature 5ºC in a single hour. In a 12 hour period, the temperature can climb from -20ºC to +10ºC.
An arch of clouds in the west signals it is coming. Starting out as a wind off the Pacific Ocean, laden with moisture, the wind moves up and over the western slopes of the Rockies.
The moisture it carries cools, condenses and falls out as rain or snow. Free of its load of moisture, the wind then descends down the eastern side of the range, gaining heat as it loses elevation.
Current weather conditions
Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan
Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan