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Experts expect record-breaking temperatures for Calgary this week

Average daytime temperatures in Calgary at this time of year are about 14 C, but Environment Canada is forecasting highs up to 27 C this week. (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)
Average daytime temperatures in Calgary at this time of year are about 14 C, but Environment Canada is forecasting highs up to 27 C this week. (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)

Officially, it's spring, but Calgarians are in store for a dose of summer this week.

According to the weather forecast by Environment Canada, daytime temperatures are likely to hover between 24 and 27 C all week. The nights are expected to remain above freezing, with temperatures ranging from 8 to 12 C.

"These temperatures are well above normal for this time of the year," said Heather Pimiskern, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. "Normally, temperatures are around 14 degrees, on average, but this week, we're seeing temperatures around 25-26, even encroaching on the 27 mark."

The meteorologist added that "the Prairies are under a ridge of high pressure, which is affecting warm temperatures from the south" and leading to higher temperatures across Alberta.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada

"It's not abnormal to have warmer temperatures this time of the year, but the temperatures we are seeing could be record-breaking," Pimiskern said.

In fact, if things go as predicted, a record will be broken today in Calgary. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city on the first day of May was in 1890. On that day, the mercury soared to 25.6 C.

'I have never ever seen a forecast that looks like this'

According to Colin Atter, the owner of Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary, the higher temperatures may present new opportunities for plant enthusiasts.

"In [the] 22 years that I've been doing this, I have never ever seen a forecast that looks like this. I mean, not even close," he said.

Atter says this is a good time to experiment with shrubs, trees and other perennial plants. He is hoping to plant a few tomatoes himself and "get a full month jump-start on them."

In case it gets chilly in the evenings, Atter will cover the plants and exercise caution.

For those wondering whether it's a good idea to start planting, Atter has a simple answer.

"How good are you at predicting the weather? Because we really don't know. This is kind of unprecedented. So we couldn't tell you if it's too early to plant it," he said, before adding, "It's just what we do in Calgary, we take chances."

The hot spell may not last for long, though. The temperatures are expected to get slightly cooler over the weekend and early next week, says Pimiskern.

She expects a "pattern change" to occur soon, which could mean lower temperatures that are more commonly associated with spring in Calgary.