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Wild weather at the Calgary Stampede

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 16, 2010 — Scorching heat, sunshine, chilly temperatures and thunderstorms. People have seen it all at this year's Calgary Stampede.

The Calgary Stampede runs from July 9th - 18th
The Calgary Stampede runs from July 9th - 18th

It's one of the biggest rodeos in the world. And this year, Mother Nature has brought some challenging conditions to the Calgary Stampede.

The event kicked off on a hot and sunny note back on July 9th. The city hit a scorching 30 degrees. By the time the weekend rolled around, the clouds and showers had too. And by the start of this week, conditions were even more unsettled.

“We thought it was going to be sunny for six or seven days straight,” says Doug Fraser, Media Relations Manager at the Stampede. “Unfortunately, things started going south on the weekend. Since then we’ve had questionable weather at best.”

On Tuesday, the sky opened up and put a damper on the big event.

“We had non-stop rain for 8, 10, 12 hours, something like that, and it forced us to cancel two of our major events - the chuckwagon races and the following evening grandstand event,” explains Fraser.

Popular indoor animal exhibit
Popular indoor animal exhibit

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. Although not common in July, it's not unheard of in Calgary. The city has recorded snow in every month of the year.

This year's event finally got a break on Thursday. Temperatures climbed into the 20's, giving organizers the type of weather they've been looking for. But that didn't last long.

After a day of sunshine, the unsettled conditions moved back into the region on Friday. Calgary was even included in a severe thunderstorm warning issued by Environment Canada.

While the majority of this year's Stampede was spent under a tent or an umbrella, attendees don't seem to be complaining. “It's always like that in Calgary. Stampede's are always like that too,” says one resident we caught up with. “If you live her, that's the way it is.”

Another person even went as far as offering other visitors some positive advice. ”There's alternatives here. You do not have to stand in the rain. You do not have to suffer with the weather.”

Several shows and presentations have seemed to entertain those who prefer to stay indoors during the stormy weather.

If you're heading to the Calgary Stampede this year, we'd love to see your photos! You can upload them easily to our Your Weather Gallery.

And for the latest weather updates in the city of Calgary, you can also tune into The Weather Network on TV. Our National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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