May long weekend is coming up and with that comes traveling, camping, and being outside. Luckily for us, Mother Nature should give us a hot weekend!

Operational Meteorologists for Environment and Climate Change Canada Eric Van Lochem explains that we should be expecting a pretty warm and dry weekend ahead; a continuation of what we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

"We're going to be looking at high temperatures right around that 30-degree mark during the late afternoon. The smoke is going to be the big wild card with this one, I don't think it's going to be as bad as what we have seen."

Van Lochem says that when the cold front came in it really pushed a lot of the smoke from Northern Alberta into the Calgary area.

"We're going to see winds kind of shifting around more towards the south, so that should push a lot of that smoke to the north again but that being said, with the special air quality statement that's still in effect, I don't see that going anywhere for the bulk of the weekend. So, you're probably going to be able to smell the smoke in the air and it won't be a crystal-clear sky."

With the fires ongoing there will still be a haze around because so many of them are burning. Van Lochem mentions that even if it doesn't look that bad, you can still smell it and it's still in the air. If you are breathing it in, it's definitely hazardous. 

"It is more hazardous in great quantities like what we saw a couple of days ago where Southern Alberta had some of the worst air quality in the country just because of all of that. I am not expecting a repeat of that, but it will still be in the air."

Smoke aside, Friday to Sunday could potentially bring rain or thunderstorms, as Van Lochem said there's a small chance of those clouds developing. However, all the smoke makes it very hard to predict if there will actually be rain or thunderstorms coming off of the foothills. 

"It (the smoke) keeps a bit of a lid on the atmosphere that prevents them from bubbling up. So that's kind of the only uncertainty with the rain in the afternoon, evening, through the weekend."

Looking beyond the long weekend, Van Lochem said he is confident in saying the best chance of rain we'll get in the near future is Monday night into Tuesday. From there, we could be seeing temperatures hovering around the 20-degree mark with potentially more rain, although the bulk of the rain may be more north in the Red Deer area.

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