Calgary

Warmer, wetter, wilder weather a preparedness opportunity, says senior climatologist

The weather in Alberta is getting more intense but we can be prepared for it, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada says.

David Phillips says resilient communities will attract investment, people

Warmer, wetter and wilder weather 5:04

The weather in Alberta is getting more intense but we can be prepared for it, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada says.

"Our weather has gotten weirder, wilder and wackier in recent years. We see the evidence, particularly in Alberta. It's not just heavy snows, it's tornados, it's wildfires, wild winds, it's hailstorms," David Phillips told CBC Calgary News at 6.

"What is the forecast for the future? Warmer, wetter and wilder. We don't know how much wilder, because our models aren't that good, but we know the conditions that will produce tornados, hurricanes on the coast, drought [and] floods will be more evident.… We can't say exactly where and when, but we think we will see superstorms."

But we don't have to sit by passively and experience it.

"We need to prepare for it, not just grin and bear it," Phillips said.

"You can prevent a hazard from becoming a disaster."

He said it's more than just reducing our use of fossil fuels.

"We need to build more resilient communities," Phillips said.

And it's going to take a team effort with municipalities, developers, communities and individuals.

"If we can just build with extreme weather in mind, we are going to have a safer community and we are going to attracted investment and people are going to want to live there. There are a lot of advantages to becoming better prepared for extreme weather."

And don't build on flood plains, he adds.

With files from CBC Calgary News at 6

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