Focal Examination of the 2013 Extreme Weather and Flooding in Alberta

The Grande Rockies Resort (right) in Canmore—location of our workshop on the flood—seen in June 2013. Photo: Jonathan Hayward, Canadian Press.

In late June 2013, intense rain fell for several days over a large area of the southern Canadian Rocky Mountain front ranges and foothills in Alberta, causing widespread flooding with severe and costly damages to many communities, mass evacuations, and loss of life. Shortly after, the Changing Cold Regions Network set out to examine the chain of events leading to this disaster, focusing on atmospheric conditions and flood meteorology, hydrological and land surface processes associated with the flood, water management and operational decision making aspects, and computer modelling and simulation of various aspects of the flood to improve future prediction of similar events.

A scientific and stakeholder workshop was held in Canmore, AB, in February 2014 to discuss various aspects of the flood and present preliminary scientific analyses, as well as to hear from local emergency response personnel and water management professionals about their experiences. (Presentations and a full report of that workshop are available at An outcome of the workshop was the development of plans to organize a set of scientific papers for a special journal issue. Most of these papers have now been published in a special issue of the journal Hydrological Processes (see list below). In addition, a significant amount of media coverage focused on network member's assessments and insights on various aspects of the flood event. A lisiting of news items and interviews is provided below

In particular, see a recent news story (Three years later, lessons being learned from the flood of 2013), and see information brochures on the changing environment of the Rocky Mountains and a brochure describing the events and the lessons learned.

Scientific Journal Publications

Journal of Hydrometeorology

Hydrological Processes Special Issue Canadian Geophysical Union 2016 

Hydrological Processes Special Issue Canadian Geophysical Union 2015

Canadian Water Resources Journal Special Issue on Floods in Canada

This CWRJ special issue contains many other relevant papers on floods in Canada and the CCRN geographic domain authored or co-authored by CCRN members (

Other Relevant Papers (not by CCRN members)

Select Media Coverage


PHOTO CREDITS: (left to right) “June 2013 Flood” by Government of Alberta, “Calgary Flood of 2013” by Waynerd CC BY, “Curling Club Under Water” by Gnimish CC BY.