High pressure system builds; smoke and heat drive in around Calgary

CALGARY — Air quality advisories to the left of me, heat warnings to the right, here we are, stuck in the middle … There have been no major developments compared to where we got started Monday for the long-range forecast: it’ll continue warming, it’ll stay smoky, and that smoke volume is likely to increase this evening.

Let’s discuss Newton’s third law of meteorology (which I just made up): for each positive action, there is always a way to create a perceived negative reaction.

In this case, we have a high-pressure ridge to thank. Normally, these create benign conditions; you get sunshine, you get light wind, and in the summertime, they translate to warmth.

These effects occur under a subsident atmosphere; the contents of a high-pressure zone “subside” – they drop from the upper atmosphere to the lower. When air rises, it cools and can condense into cloud; when air sinks, as in high pressure, it warms and limits cloud growth.

This means the same guiding wind that has left smoke in our upper atmosphere will be contributing to its descent nearer to ground-level.

If you’re reading this before noon and have plans in the Calgary area outdoors (walking the dog, walking the kids, walking the dog and the kids, walking yourself), the best bet is to get it out of the way early. Check our air quality before you head out.

As I was saying in Tuesday’s article, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see both an air quality advisory and a heat warning hit Calgary by Saturday. There is potential for overlap between these undesirables, too.

Your five-day:


  • Mainly “sunny,” smoke
  • Daytime high: 24 C
  • Evening: hazy, low 16 C


  • Mainly “sunny,” smoke
  • Daytime high: 26 C
  • Evening: hazy, slight chance for a thundershower, low 15 C


  • Mainly “sunny,” smoke
  • Daytime high: 30 C
  • Evening: hazy, low 16 C


  • Sunny
  • Daytime high: 30 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low 17 C


  • Sunny
  • Daytime high: 30 C
  • Evening: mainly clear, low 15 C

In pictures today, we’re delving into the past couple of days.

Jim is pretty sure this is Roseberry Mountain. He took the photo Monday.

Calgary weather submission sunrise

And Jan caught this one Monday, too.

Calgary weather submission Jan

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

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