The kind of weather Calgary endures

More weather info.

Wanna know what kind of weather Calgary and southern Alberta gets?  Let's see what's going on in Calgary right now.  Check out the current observations on Environment Canada's webpage.

The site also has free live picture satellite animations for all of North America, including Calgary, and a 5-day Calgary weather forecast.

Here's the Weather Network Calgary forecast.  You can then compare the two forecasts like I do.  There's also an hourly forecast and a 14-day trend on the Weather Network.

What's normal?  The weather in Calgary is often defined by:

  1. It's on the continent inland
  2. It's near the mountains and downwind
  3. Canada's northerly latitude

Really?  This place?  Different people or groups might want to experience Calgary's weather for different reasons:

- Those who are interested in weather, such as amateur meteorologists or storm chasers, may have a keen interest in different weather conditions.  Calgary's climate, with its distinct seasons and occasional extreme weather events like snowstorms or chinook winds, gives them a chance to study weather.

Visitors to Calgary, whether from other parts of Canada or around the world, may enjoy the city's weather as part of their trip.  Calgary's climate has some unique features, such as its colder winters, mild summers, and the occasional warm, dry chinook winds that can cause rapid temperature changes.

- Outdoor Enthusiasts: Calgary's weather is great for skiers, snowboarders, hikers, and cyclists.  Skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer are both possible because of the city's proximity to the Canadian Rockies.

Researchers and scientists: Calgary's climate and weather patterns might attract researchers and scientists studying meteorology, climate change, or related fields.  Calgary's diverse weather conditions and proximity to research facilities and universities make it a good location for data collection.

- Calgary's residents may have a vested interest in understanding the local weather.  Understanding seasonal changes, temperature fluctuations, or precipitation patterns can help residents plan their activities, make clothing choices, or prepare for any weather-related challenges.

Weather preferences can vary depending on personal interests, professional pursuits, or the appeal of the region's climate and outdoor activities.  The unique weather conditions in Calgary may appeal to different people for different reasons.

weather Calgary: Canadian style 

There's a chill in the air.  Other places nearby are much colder in winter.  Edmonton and Regina, for example.  In the spring and summer, they're a bit warmer than Calgary.

There's some relief from the cold in Calgary.  Winter relief comes from the famous Chinook winds that blow intermittently.  Sometimes it gets up to 20°C here.

It even caught actor Leonardo DiCaprio off guard once.  When he and crew were filming "The Revenant" in Alberta, they encountered chinook winds.  In the Rocky Mountain region, which includes Calgary, they found out chinook winds can bring sudden and significant temperature increases.  Rapid snowmelt and dramatic weather changes can be caused by these warm winds.  DiCaprio might have been surprised by the chinook wind event during the filming of "The Revenant" because it was unexpected (by those not from here) or impacted the filming conditions.

Summers in Calgary aren't as hot as other southern prairie towns.

Calgary's weather history shows it's also one of the driest areas in the country.  It's because it's in the middle of the continent, so air masses from the Pacific and Arctic Ocean rarely meet.  Calgary gets less than 400mm of rain a year because of that.

There are blizzards, thunderstorms and the like here, but the total is still small.  The average annual precipitation in Calgary is 419 millimeters (16.5 inches), including rain and snow.  Precipitation isn't evenly distributed throughout the year, with higher amounts in summer and lower amounts in winter.  Winters usually get more snow, while summers get more rain.  As noted, due to Calgary's semi-arid climate, it gets less precipitation than many other parts of Canada.  

The driest areas of Canada, though, are most of the arctic, as well as Medicine Hat and Kamloops.  It's hard to grow crops in these areas because there's not much precipitation.  Summer and/or winter temperatures are also more extreme for them than for Calgary.

This great website,  You can get plenty of stats on Calgary weather on Weatherspark.  This first plot on their climate page shows the range of temperatures expected over each date, with daily highs and lows, which are probably medians.  Each day you'll see their 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th percentile levels.

Here's another way to look at it.  With various coloured bands, it shows you how often each range of temperatures falls during a typical period at each phase of the year.

The next two drawings show sunrise and sunset times and daylight hours on any date.  The two after that show cloud cover stats.  There are a few pictures after that showing precipitation statistics and possible snow depths.  Summer snow isn't out of the question.

Two images show expected humidity levels and dewpoint temperatures for the year and two more show wind speed and direction statistics.  You can compare locations and see who has the kind of weather Calgary can compete with by using the search box at the top.

As a whole (e.g., thanks to our relatively our mild winters), Calgary's weather isn't too bad.

Navigate back from Weather Calgary to the Environmental Health and Safety Jobs web page, or visit the Stuff in the Air homepage.

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Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.