The UNderstanding Severe Thunderstorms and Alberta
Boundary Layers Experiment: UNSTABLE



A severe thunderstorm observed on 13 July during UNSTABLE 2008 near Olds, AB. Photo by Dave Carlsen, Environment Canada.

Welcome to the UNSTABLE webpage! UNSTABLE is a field experiment and modeling study investigating the initiation of thunderstorms in the Alberta Foothills. The project is a collaboration between Environment Canada scientists and Canadian Universities, working together to help forecasters provide Canadians with the most accurate and timely severe weather watches and warnings possible.

In the summer of 2008 we conducted a pilot field program to test observational strategies and collect data from various instrumentation platforms. Preliminary results have been presented at various conferences and symposia and the first formal UNSTABLE 2008 publication has been submitted to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Additional formal publications are under development and already one student has completed their M.Sc. Thesis at the University of Alberta using UNSTABLE 2008 data.

While initially planning to conduct a more complete field campaign in 2013, this is not possible given current priorities and available resources. We continue to plan for another field campaign with an earliest date of summer 2016. Analysis of data from the 2008 campaign continues with more formal publications expected soon along with completion of ongoing graduate and undergraduate research at the University of Manitoba. Please have a look at the information available via the links to the left including our science overview, 2008 operations plan, presentations, and reports and publications. We will update material on this site as it becomes available.