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2016 the second coldest May long weekend in Calgary in at least 40 years

Cold and wet long weekend puts some plans on hold
WATCH ABOVE: The cold and wet weekend made for miserable camping, hopeless gardening, and forced the cancellation of all kinds of events. Sarah Offin reports.

Weather in Calgary over the 2016 May long weekend was so brisk it almost broke a record.

The four-day mean average temperature from Friday to Monday was 5 C, according to Global Calgary weather anchor Jodi Hughes, making it the second coldest Victoria Day long weekend in at least 40 years.

The coldest Victoria Day long weekends since 1976 were back-to-back in the early 2000s. 2003 and 2004 were memorably cold all weekend, with temperatures ranging from  -5.1 to 14.2 C in 2003 and -0.8 to 13.8 C in 2004. Their respective mean temperatures averaged over the four days came out to 4.2 C in 2003 and 5.4 C in 2004.

READ MORE: Say it ain’t snow on May long weekend! How do Calgarians feel about it?

Rain or snow is something most people seem to expect on this holiday weekend, and that makes sense.

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Looking through Environment Canada records over the past four decades, there have only been four ‘dry’ May long weekends in Calgary; 2008, 2000, 1980 and 1978.

If you factor in trace amounts of moisture, there has been rain or snow 86 of 160 days for those specific weekends. (trace amounts of precipitation, considered to be any measurable amount below 0.2 millimetres of water equivalent moisture)

The greatest single-day rainfall recorded over this weekend was last year, when 19.1 mm of rain fell on May 16. Sunday came in as the third rainiest single-day for the long weekend, after 17.2 mm of rain was recorded at the airport.

The greatest single-day snowfall for this weekend was May 21, 1995 when Calgary was hit by nine centimetres of snow.

You might be surprised to learn that not all May long weekends have been lousy, though.

Calgary has recorded at least 20 C every day of this annual long weekend, 15 per cent of the years. The warmest Victoria Day temperature was on May 16, 2008 when it hit 29.8 C.

The coldest daytime high was May 16, 1981 when it only warmed up to 5.2 C, just 0.3 degrees shy of our high on Sunday.

The good news is we should get back to seasonal temperatures by Tuesday. Highs are expected to be between 16 to 20 C until at least Saturday.

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