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Calgary Weather: Record Heat, Huge Hail on Wednesday

Calgary Weather: Record Heat, Huge Hail on Wednesday
Calgary Weather: Record Heat, Huge Hail on Wednesday

Extreme heat is expected to be the main weather feature in Alberta and British Columbia on Wednesday.

A very strong ridge of high pressure continues to sit over western Canada and the United States, drawing in warm, moist air and causing maximum temperatures to be as much as 10 to 13 degrees Celsius above average.

The system has been largely stationary since the beginning of the week and is the reason dozens of maximum temperature records were broken in Alberta and British Columbia on Monday and Tuesday.

In Calgary, a maximum temperature of 35°C is expected on Wednesday with a Humidex value of 37.

In Edmonton, some models are predicting highs of 37 C, and if that happens – and temperatures get a little warmer than that – Edmonton would set a new daily record high. The hottest temperature ever recorded in that city was 37.2 C on June 29, 1937.

On Wednesday, this weather pattern will change as a frontal system moves into the province from the north.

As the new system approaches, there is an increased risk for severe storms to develop as the cold, dry air encounters the warm, moist air mass over Alberta.

In a synoptic arrangement known as a “ring of fire,” storms are likely to develop around the outer edges of those high waves – with rapid intensification.

Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h are possible, as well as hail the size of a tennis ball. Tornadic activity is not ruled out, as rotation is likely in some of these storms.

The area most likely to see thunderstorms tonight is in the north and centre of our province. However, thunderstorms are also possible today from the southern foothills, which could affect areas as far as Calgary in the afternoon.

From Thursday onwards, temperatures will drop during the day and night temperatures are also expected to cool down slightly towards the weekend.