The Weather Network is telling Central Albertans to prepare for at “battle ground” between opposing weather patterns this summer.
Kelly Sonnenburg, meteorologist with The Weather Network, says Central Alberta is smack dab in the middle of cooler-than-average temperatures in the east, and warmer-than-average temperatures in the west.
She says the position of these patterns puts Central Alberta in a precarious situation.
“We are really looking at a changeable season for the region, and much of the province. What this means is temperatures are expected to fluctuate between warmer than average and cooler,” Sonnenburg said in a phone interview.
The Weather Network is predicting British Columbia will see another hot and dry summer, while Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the east will “dip in temperature.”
As these two opposing weather patterns change and evolve, Sonnenburg says it is likely they will occasionally cross over into Alberta.
“If you are in the west, closer to the Rocky Mountains, I expect it will be warmer, while closer to the Saskatchewan border, it will lean on the cooler side. For the Red Deer and Sylvan Lake area, it looks like it will go back and forth.”
Sonnenburg says to use the next week or two as an example of what the summer will bring to the area.
“This week you are seeing summer conditions and temperatures, whereas next week we will see temperatures dip slightly below normal,” said Sonnenburg.
Normal summer temperatures, according to Sonnenburg, generally range between 20-22C.
In Central Alberta, Sonnenburg isn’t expected drought-like conditions. Instead, she says the region should experience “near normal” precipitation during the months of June, July and August.
Normal rainfall for the summer months, according to The Weather Network, is 94 mm for June and July and 72 mm in August.
“Central Alberta is no strange to sever thunderstorms. One thunderstorm can drop upwards of 100 mm of rain in an area, and skew our data,” Sonnenburg said, adding it is difficult to predict thunderstorms months out.
“That being said, we do still predict precipitation will be close to normal for the area.”
However, to the north of Edmonton is expected to continue to be on the drier side of normal. Sonnenburg said drier conditions will likely contribute to the wild fires already burning in northern Alberta.
“We expect wild fires once again this summer in British Columbia. Which means smokey skies are in the future for Alberta.”
Sonnenburg believes the changeable weather pattern in Central Alberta will help move the hazy, smoke filled skies from the area.
However, she says it will still be important to keep an eye on air quality reports this summer, especially for those with respiratory conditions.
“Summer is so short, and we want to be outside as much as possible, so keep an eye on the conditions and any warnings that may come up,” she said.