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Prairies cooldown on the way as Thursday’s severe storms focus on Alberta

Wednesday, August 4th 2021, 8:59 pm - Another day of severe storms and poor air quality is on the way, but cooler temperatures are on the horizon.

Relief is in the forecast for the Prairies as an upper-level low gradually scours away the region’s stubborn heat. Thursday will see a risk for severe thunderstorms in parts of Alberta, as well as a spell of poor air quality from wildfire smoke across the region. Temperatures will trend cooler as we close in on the weekend, approaching seasonal in many areas and even cooler than that for some. More on what to expect in the days ahead, below.

THURSDAY: AIR QUALITY PLUNGES IN MANITOBA, STORM RISK SHIFTS TO ALBERTA

Thursday will see a risk for severe storms on the western Prairies. The strongest storms are possible in northeastern British Columbia, northern and central Alberta, and possibly extending down into the foothills.

WestRiskThu

The strongest storms on Thursday could produce large hail and heavy rainfall.

Southern Manitoba is poised to struggle with the worst of the substandard air quality over the Prairies due to wildfire smoke. The worst of the smoke is expected to drift down toward the surface and bring very unhealthy air quality to that part of the province, including Winnipeg.

PR Smoke

Temperature-wise, the focus of the heat also looks to shift slightly Thursday. The western Prairies will gain a couple of degrees, pushing some communities a bit higher than 30°C and others up to or slightly below that threshold.

In Manitoba, by contrast, temperatures fall considerably, as much as 5-6 degrees for some, with daytime highs in the low to mid-20s.

PR temps icons thu Wed Aug 4 2021 PM

BEYOND: REFRESHING TEMPERATURES ARE ON THE WAY

That will be a harbinger for temperature relief expected over the coming couple of days as the ridge of high pressure that's locked above-seasonal warmth over the region begins to break down.

By the weekend, most of the region will be comfortably in the low-to-mid 20s. In fact, parts of Alberta will be even cooler, with Edmonton and Calgary both set to fall below 20°C by the end of the weekend.

PR temps icons sun Wed Aug 4 2021 PM

The exception will be southern Manitoba, which may still feel a bit hot, not dropping down to seasonal until the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, there will be widespread showers and thunderstorms Friday, with a risk for strong to severe storms, across central and northern parts of the Prairies. The good news is there will be significant rainfall for the wildfire areas of east-central Manitoba in the short- and long-range.

Check back for the latest forecast across Western Canada.

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