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Physiography, climate, soil and vegetation combine to create four biophysical regions within Alberta.The Prairie region includes most of southern Alberta, more precisely the land south and east of an arc stretching from Waterton in the southwest corner to a point along the Saskatchewan border east of Red Deer.
However, as in other provinces, the traditional powers of the lieutenant-governor have in practice lapsed and he or she now serves primarily a ceremonial function.
The parkland region predominates in central Alberta, forming a crescent to the west and north of the Prairie region and including most of the North Saskatchewan River drainage basin.
Low annual precipitation, high evaporation rates and fast runoff produce chronic water deficits in southern Alberta, varying from a moderate deficiency in the parkland region to a severe shortage in the short-grass prairie area.
Climate Alberta's northerly latitude, stretching between lat. 60°N, puts the province in the northern cool-temperate zone.
Cold winters and relatively short, cool summers are to be expected.
The dry clear air provides Albertans with plenty of sunshine, ranging from 1,900 annual hours in the north to 2,300 in the Lethbridge area in the south.