CALGARY -- David Spence said it best. "The difficulties of smoke forecasting are admittedly flustering."

You can say that again, David.

For yesterday’s article, I wanted the headline to read "Our five-day forecast shows showers/smoke relief by the weekend", but here we are, a day later, and the entire smoke outlook for the weekend has changed. Now, surface conditions are shaping to be some of the worst we’ve seen through the last two weeks:

Environment Canada, Air Quality Index Environment Canada, Air Quality Index

That second chart is a reflection of the 6pm-today to 6pm-tomorrow outlook and puts Calgary at 40 parts per cubic metre. Anything between 12 and 15 can be hazardous. Of course, our temperatures will succumb to Murphy’s Law and be pleasant. Our air quality should limit that enjoyment, especially for sensitive demographics. If you start experiencing shortness of breath, a persistent cough, or throat irritation, it can be better to head inside and stay indoors for a while.

We may see some respite from smoke in the afternoon Sunday, but the next wave could roll on through Monday. Smoke forecasting remains in its infancy and I’d be content with being wrong. Some showers in British Columbia’s interior may mitigate the full breadth of available smoke for his weekend’s migration, for instance. But, I don’t think it will be enough to keep our Air Quality Health Index from climbing to a "moderate" range.

Here’s the five-day forecast:


  • Mainly sunny, smoky
  • Daytime high: 23C
  • Evening: some showers, low 12C


  • Early showers, then partly cloudy and smoky
  • Daytime high: 23C
  • Evening: building showers, low 12C


  • Early showers, clearing
  • Daytime high: 18C
  • Evening: showers, low 8C


  • Partly cloudy, smoky
  • Daytime high: 20C
  • Evening: clear, low 7C


  • Partly cloudy
  • Daytime high: 18C
  • Evening: showers, low 7C

Lastly, the pic of the day – Bonnie caught this sunset. Thanks for sending, Bonnie, and stay safe out there, everyone!

Alberta, sunset, Bonnie

You can submit your weather photos here.