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A southern Alberta tradition

Posted on May 26, 2021 by Taber Times

Now that the May long weekend is behind us, southern Albertans can breathe a sigh of relief, winter might just be a faded memory — just maybe.

For as long as one can remember, May is a tightly-packed sack of weather. From hot sun to wet conditions to a spring blizzard to a plethora of wind storms — southern Alberta is no stranger to severe and unpredictable weather woes and/or delights.

Nature’s emotional rollercoaster is indeed quite a whirlwind in this area of the Great White North.

To plant a garden or not? To go camping or wait until the following week?

Now that we have bid farewell to the May long weekend for another season, hopefully, southern Alberta will have less snow and sleet and more above average temperatures for a summer of sun, fun and only a slight breeze (that’s a longshot). But, each long weekend, southern Albertans head out to the wild to tent and/or RV in below zero temps and a blanket of fluffy white monstrosity. Some green thumbs have already planted their annual collection of growing favourites, while the on again/off again weather destroys the bounty.

But, for some reason, a hope of a sunshine-filled long weekend in May continues to prevail, each and every year. You’d think southern Albertans would know by now, not to bet the farm on a beautiful May long.

Of course, the Father’s Day weekend and Canada Day long weekend are the most coveted of the weekends in the summer calendar.

As southern Albertans can count on at least some warmer temps, maybe not a non-windy day or two, but some downright hot days and evenings. Severe weather in the summer months have become the norm with thunderstorms, hail, tornado warnings, some touchdowns and similar questionable weather patterns not to our collective liking.

Southern Alberta weather has always been a crapshoot.

It’s a conundrum some follow almanacs or bizarre rituals to predict the weather when meteorologists struggle with a sense of what is to come weather-wise in these parts.

If someone wants to experience a wide-variety of weather and/or seasons in a very short period of time, look no further than to southern Alberta. Tourists are always surprised how unpredictable the weather is here.

Tourists should always pack for the hybrid that is Alberta. Pack shorts, T-shirts, sweaters, parkas, toques, mittens, rain coats, pants, thermal underwear, scuba gear and just about every other type of clothing to be prepared for what the province has in store for a tourist’s summer.

A tourist can experience summer, fall, winter, spring and everything else under the sun or clouds in a single weekend in southern Alberta.

As snow covered Alberta sinisterly a few days prior to the May long weekend, it no doubt, dampened the spirits of the Canadian wanting a getaway or staycation to kickstart the summer. But, perseverance is a positive attribute of the southern Albertan in its natural habitat. Many Canadians (not just in southern Alberta) flock to the outdoors in the snow or any other disparaging weather, with shorts on and sun tan lotion at the ready, to be stopped in their tracks — if only for a short period of time.

Like a rodeo star bucked off their noble steed, the southern Albertan gets back up on the wild animal (southern Alberta) and rides it off into the sunset. How poetic, but true to its core.

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