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Gearing up for the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede runs from July 8-17
The Calgary Stampede runs from July 8-17

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 7, 2011 — With the Calgary Stampede set to kick off on Friday, will the weather cooperate?

Many of the Stampede events happen outdoors
Many of the Stampede events happen outdoors

It's been dubbed the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth; but in the past, Mother Nature has brought some challenging weather conditions to the Calgary Stampede.

In fact, just last year, torrential downpours put a damper on some of the festivities.

“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,” said Doug Fraser, Media Relations Manager at the Calgary Stampede.

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, snow in the summer months is not unheard of in Calgary. The city has recorded it in every month of the year.

The 7-day forecast for the city of Calgary
The 7-day forecast for the city of Calgary

There's no snow forecast for the start of this year's Calgary Stampede.

“We're looking at pretty seasonal conditions this weekend, with temperatures in the low twenties,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “There's also lots of sunshine in the forecast, with a risk of thunderstorms next week.”

The organizers aren't taking any chances with the weather and have prepared for the worse case scenario.

“Obviously we hope for really great weather,” says Jennifer Booth, Publicity Manager at Calgary Stampede. “We have a lot of outdoor activities that people can take part in. However, if it does rain, we have lots of activities planned for the indoors.”

For a closer look at the weather expected for each event, be sure to check your local forecast.

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.

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