Broken Bow News
Calgary Weather: A Comprehensive Guide

Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada, is known for its vibrant culture, stunning natural landscapes, and, of course, its unique and sometimes unpredictable weather. Located in the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies and the prairies, Calgary’s weather is influenced by its geography, leading to a diverse climate that can change rapidly. This article provides an in-depth look at the weather patterns in Calgary, helping residents and visitors alike understand what to expect throughout the year.

General Climate Overview

Calgary experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by four distinct seasons: cold winters, warm summers, and relatively short spring and autumn periods. The city’s elevation (approximately 1,045 meters or 3,428 feet above sea level) and proximity to the mountains play significant roles in shaping its weather.

Winter (December to February)

Winters in Calgary are typically cold, with average temperatures ranging from -9°C to -1°C (16°F to 30°F). However, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to drop below -20°C (-4°F) during particularly cold spells. Calgary’s winters are also marked by frequent chinooks, a weather phenomenon that can cause rapid temperature increases, melting snow and providing brief, mild breaks from the winter chill.

Key Features of Calgary Winters:

  • Snowfall: Calgary receives an average of 128 cm (50 inches) of snow annually. Snow can start as early as October and last into April.
  • Chinooks: These warm, dry winds can raise temperatures by up to 20°C (36°F) in a few hours, significantly impacting the winter climate.

Spring (March to May)

Spring in Calgary is a transitional season, with temperatures gradually warming from the cold of winter. March can still be quite chilly, with average highs around 4°C (39°F), but by May, temperatures often reach 16°C (61°F). Spring weather can be highly variable, with the possibility of late-season snowstorms and early thunderstorms.

Key Features of Calgary Springs:

  • Temperature Fluctuations: Significant day-to-day temperature changes are common.
  • Precipitation: Spring sees an increase in rainfall, averaging around 40 mm (1.6 inches) per month.

Summer (June to August)

Summers in Calgary are warm and relatively dry, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 24°C (59°F to 75°F). July is typically the warmest month, and temperatures can occasionally exceed 30°C (86°F). Calgary enjoys long daylight hours during the summer, providing ample opportunity for outdoor activities.

Key Features of Calgary Summers:

  • Thunderstorms: Summer is thunderstorm season, with the city averaging 16 thunderstorm days per year. These storms can bring heavy rain, hail, and occasionally severe weather.
  • Dry Conditions: Calgary’s summers are generally dry, with low humidity levels.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn in Calgary is short but beautiful, characterized by mild temperatures and vibrant fall foliage. September often retains summer-like warmth, but by November, temperatures drop significantly, averaging between -3°C and 6°C (27°F to 43°F).

Key Features of Calgary Autumns:

  • Rapid Cooling: Temperatures can drop quickly, signaling the approach of winter.
  • Colorful Foliage: The city’s parks and surrounding areas display stunning autumn colors, making it a picturesque time of year.

Unique Weather Phenomena


One of the most distinctive features of Calgary’s weather is the chinook winds. These warm, dry winds originate from the Pacific Ocean, descend the eastern slopes of the Rockies, and can raise temperatures dramatically within hours. Chinooks can occur anytime from fall to spring and are often welcomed during the cold winter months.


Calgary is known as the “hailstorm capital of Canada.” The city’s location makes it particularly susceptible to severe thunderstorms that produce large hail. These storms typically occur in late spring and summer, sometimes causing significant property damage.


Calgary’s weather is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. From the cold, snowy winters tempered by chinooks to the warm, dry summers punctuated by thunderstorms, Calgary’s climate offers a variety of conditions throughout the year. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, understanding the weather patterns can help you prepare and make the most of what this vibrant city has to offer.