Calgary hangs in the 20s for a few days, rain this weekend

UPDATE: This will be a different update; because we're already organized, I've added paragraphs to the two 'Parts' below.

Short is good … usually. We'll divide this weather story into two parts:

Part I: The dry days. Tuesday continues shaping with a high of 20 C. Wind will be marginal, and cloud cover will mix in. If you're headed out tonight for the Flames playoff opener, the forecast is spectacular for it; the temperature at puck drop is holding near 16 C. From Wednesday to Thursday, our upper air will set up to cross the Rockies from more of a southwesterly position. This will make for building gust speeds; Wednesday looks to top near 40 km/h, and Thursday could push things into the 50 km/h range, with a chance for the extreme southwest to push toward wind warning territory.

That cuts off Friday. We'll continue to see warm weather and westerly wind, but it will be far less pronounced. Friday is the "shoulder day" between events.

Our update doesn't modify much. Our models paint Wednesday and Thursday with near-equal strength, but Wedneseday is buffed up a bit thanks to westerly wind, whereas a lot of the predictors have Thursday's wind taking on a southerly approach, now. That impacts the bottom line for our expected highs.

Which brings us to…

Part II: The rainy days. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up just yet, nor dash outdoor plans completely, but the early look has rain now starting earlier in the day; closer to 6 a.m. and with it, stronger showers are now starting to appear in the forecast, which could offer 20+ milllimetres of rain. It's still a ways out. Sunday and Monday, as of now, are shaping for trace amounts of rain, as well. Even if that messes up the family barbecue, we could use it.

This update has a few notes: foremost that we're still far enough away from this event for things to be quite malleable. Rainfall continues slipping earlier and earlier into Saturday in some models, to the point where our Friday evening forecast may involve rain as we get closer and models continue refining — with a high of 18 C slated, maybe even early-season thundershowers in parts of the province. 

The troubling thing about this pattern is that the rainfall is coming from the northwest; this is to say, from across the Rockies. That may make for drastic changes, if the entire event shifts north or southward. Right now, our best rainfall estimates range from 15 mm up to 25 mm; there are a couple of less-reliable (AKA: less good at telling what happens east of mountains) forecast models that drop us off in the low single digits, instead.

YOUR FIVE-DAY CALGARY FORECAST:

Tuesday

  • Mostly cloudy, low 6 C

Wednesday

  • Partly cloudy
  • Daytime high: 22 C
  • Evening: some cloud, low 8 C

Thursday

  • Mainly cloudy
  • Daytime high: 22 C
  • Evening: shower risk, low 9 C

Friday

  • Mainly sunny
  • Daytime high: 18 C
  • Evening: clearing, low 6 C

Saturday

  • Rain
  • Daytime high: 10 C
  • Evening: clearing, low 5 C

Sunday

  • Rain
  • Daytime high: 9 C
  • Evening: clearing, low 1 C

I guess this week's theme is shaping up to be baby animals – here's a lovely little shot from the canal in Lethbridge, sent by a viewer:

Whether it's wildlife, weather or pets – submit your photos here, email me here, or tweet them over.