Living in Alberta all my life, and being a severe weather enthusiest. Alberta and it's capital city, Edmonton, is subject to huge powerful supercell thunderstorms that spawn between 32-112 tornadoes a year. Appearently not as rare as once thought. Fortunatly, Edmonton has tornado sirens and the Alberta Emergency Public Warning System. Be Aware of stormclouds from May - September.
Of course it is possible to do both but don't underestimate the wind chill factor in the winter. It can very easily be deadly if you aren't dressed properly. Be sure to have a good pair of warm boots and hats and gloves. Most of your body heat exits from your extremities, so if you keep these warm, it's half the battle.
These are hailstones that fell in Edmonton a few years ago. My nephew David is holding some collected from the yard. He was wearing the hard hat to keep from being bonked on the head when they were falling!
With the extremely dry weather in the last few years, northern Alberta's forests have become tinder dry and several very large forest fires have raged through the area this summer and spring. The House River fire near Fort McMurray burned over 750,000 acres and caused the evacuation of the village of Conklin. Please be careful and observe all fire bans!!!! One fire just 4 miles from my home this summer destroyed 2 acreage homes and some other buildings!
The Edmonton Tornado of 1987 killed 27 people and did more than $330,000,000 damage.
Fortunately, this is a very rare event for Alberta but it pays to be prepared.
This picture shows it tearing through Refinery Row at the height of its fury.
The "hail alley" around Red Deer can often produce huge thunderheads and enormous hailstones like this one which fell near Claresholm