Much-needed showers, and possibly snow, on the way this weekend

CALGARY — It’s an active weather weekend.

We’re transitioning from a high to a low, with the trough digging into our province this afternoon. It could herald scattered thundershowers in central Alberta, with a remote (but not impossible) chance of similar activity in southern Alberta.

The big story is going to be rainfall. As the surface low drives in, it will position near Calgary and rotate moisture around the city, producing heavy showers to the northwest that could top 30 millimetres (and even more in some spots). Showers for Calgary will likely yield over 10 millimetres, but under 20 millimetres by the close at Sunday.

Here’s the thing, though: take a look at these two charts below, the NAM model from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), snapped yesterday and again this morning. Why both? To show confidence. These are not all that different from each other.

NAM model, NOAA, May                                             

NAM, NOAA, May

The other important element, if you have Sunday morning travel plans there is the potential for snowfall potential. Because this low is rotating counterclockwise (check the red arrows I added to both images), we’ll be watching for upslope flow through the weekend. Air is going to get kicked up the Rockies, forced to cool, and the packed moisture within will fall as flurries. That band is expected to roll off of the foothills Sunday morning, where it could impact Calgary. Some models project a couple centimetres of snow here, though we don’t anticipate it sticking around all that long. Still, as I mentioned out of the gate, travel plans can be affected, especially if you’re heading west into thicker bands of snow.

Your five-day forecast:

Today:

  • Partly cloudy, late rain
  • Daytime high: 16 C
  • Evening: showers, low 4 C

Saturday:

  • Rainy, at times considerable
  • Daytime high: 7 C
  • Evening: showers, developing flurries, low 1 C

Sunday:

  • Early flurries become showers, clearing in the afternoon
  • Daytime high: 8 C
  • Evening: some cloud, low 3 C

Monday:

  • Mainly cloudy, scattered showers
  • Daytime high: 11 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low 4 C

Tuesday:

  • Partly cloudy
  • Daytime high: 16 C
  • Evening: cloudy periods, low 6 C

Photos of the day are from Ellen and Roy!

Roy didn’t have to work all that hard to catch this beauty of a bluebird:

bluebird, window, Roy, southern Alberta

And then Ellen snapped this shot on May 4, where two separate bands of rainshowers create a little “hole” view of the Rockies! Brilliant!

Southern Alberta, rainshowers, Ellen,

 

You can submit your weather photos here, or email me: Kevin Stanfield , OR you can just tweet at me!

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