Climate and geography
Alberta’s climate and geography are as diverse as Alberta’s people.
Alberta has four distinct seasons, from mild summers to snowy winters. Alberta is ranked number one by Environment Canada for having the most comfortable overall weather in Canada. The weather not only varies day-to-day, but from one part of the province to another.
Alberta enjoys the highest number of sunny days in Canada — more than 2,300 hours of sunshine each year. Even in winter the sky is often clear as the sun shines brightly on the sparkling snow. In June, daylight hours can reach 16 to 18 hours per day.
In summer, daytime highs are normally in the 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) range but can reach the mid to upper 30s. Normal low nighttime temperatures in the driest and coldest winter months, January and February, range from -15 to -25 degrees Celsius (five to -13 degrees Fahrenheit), while daytime temperatures range from -5 to -15. However, winter temperatures can drop as low as -30 to -40 degrees Celsius (-22 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit) for short periods of time.
Even if you’re used to living in a tropical climate, don’t let the idea of winter scare you. Winter in Alberta is a great time to experience new and exciting activities. Albertans delight in skating, downhill skiing and snowboarding, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, hockey and many other outdoor adventures. If you’ve never experienced snow, you and your family are in for a treat.
Alberta is the fourth largest province in Canada, covering an area of 661,000 square kilometres (255,000 miles) – about the same size as the U.S. state of Texas and twice the size of Japan.
We are known as a prairie province. However, only about one quarter of Alberta’s area is actually treeless. Our landscapes vary from glacial mountain lakes and rolling foothills to vast forests, fertile prairies and desert badlands. Alberta is also home to more than 600 lakes, 245 rivers and rich mineral resource deposits.
Alberta has the widest variety of physical features of any province in Canada and is the only place in North America where prairie, northern forest and mountain regions meet. People can enjoy and learn about Alberta's natural heritage at more than 500 sites covering 27,525 square kilometres in parks and natural areas that are protected for future generations.
Watch videos about Albertans from different cultural backgrounds talking about the province they call home.
Date Updated: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 02:23:06