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And now, the weatherman

David Phillips gets big laughs when he talks about the day in 1921 when it rained frogs in Calgary (they had been carried away in a windstorm). But his weather tales are countered with more sombre events, such as the 1987 tornado in Edmonton that killed 27 people as it overturned train cars, tore apart trailer parks and swept farmhouses from their footings.

Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada, will recount these stories and more during The Royal Canadian Geographical Society speaker series in Edmonton and Calgary in October.

"Some of it is going to be humorous," he says, "and some of it is going to be devastating, in terms of reliving some of those moments."

But don't expect Canada's best-known weatherman to sound off about climate change. "I talk about the changing climate, but I say that just because we had the Edmonton tornado or a couple of real Texas gully washers in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, we're not going to hell in a handbasket," says Phillips. "We need to do something about it. I think we're up to it."

— Kwok Wong
(Photo: The Photographic Group)

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