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100th Calgary Stampede in full swing

Celebrating 100 years (courtesy: Calgary Stampede)
Celebrating 100 years (courtesy: Calgary Stampede)

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 9, 2012 — Warm, dry and sunny weather is in the forecast for Calgary as the city celebrates the Stampede's Centennial.

Plenty to see and do at the Stampede (courtesy: Mike Ridewood)
Plenty to see and do at the Stampede (courtesy: Mike Ridewood)

It's been dubbed the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth; and on Friday, the Calgary Stampede kicked off for the 100th time.

Starting lastweek, Publicity Manager for the Calgary Stampede said that people around the city were "buzzing" about the stampede.

"This year is our Centennial, and we've invited the world and we're hoping they come," she said.

Known for its rodeos, races and Midway, the Calgary Stampede is showcasing some exciting new attractions for its 100th birthday party, including a zipline, fireworks shows outside of Stampede Park, and new foods, from deep-fried wagon wheels to deep-fried kool-aid.

And theweather forecastlooks promising -- especially considering how wet and cool June was.

"A lot of people in Calgary have been waiting for summer to start," says Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "The good news is that the pattern from June is changing. We have a ridge of high pressure moving in, which means the 10 days of the Stampede could be above seasonal, sunny and dry."

In fact, temperatures could be nearing 30C this week."It will be hot, but not humid, and the nights will be cooler," Ressler says. "Just watch for any risk of thunderstorms."

Calgary Stampede weather forecast
Calgary Stampede weather forecast

In the past, Mother Nature has brought some challenging weather conditions to the Calgary Stampede. In 2010, torrential downpours put a damper on some of the festivities. For the first time in the Stampede's history, the chuckwagon races and a grandstand event had to be cancelled.

Cancellations are uncommon at the Stampede, but the event is no stranger to wild weather. During the 1999 celebrations, 40mm of rain fell over three days, and temperatures were barely above zero. On the 15th, there was even a trace of snow reported.

While there is no snow in the immediate Stampede forecast, Booth says visitors should be prepared in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

"As a visitor to Stampede Park, definitely come in layers. Have a little poncho in your purse or your backpack," she says. "Generally speaking, we have really great weather. Every once in a while we get an afternoon shower, but generally July is pretty good to us."

Booth says that in addition to outdoor events, there are places visitors can go indoors for shade or shelter.

She also adds, "If you live in Calgary or you know Calgary at all, you know that if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes."

For a closer look at the Stampede weather conditions, check out the Calgary short term weather forecast.Be sure to also tune into The Weather Network on TV as Natalie Thomas reports LIVE from the Stampede this week.

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