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Rain Question

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NJ
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360 posts
1 review
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Rain Question

Hi All,

Heading to Banff and Jasper this weekend. Forecast calls for lots of rain... How accurate are the forecasts for that area? Living on the east coast, when I see this forecast, I can expect a wet weekend! Also, in the event of rain, will those amazing views on the icefield parkway that I have read about be non-existent? How about over at Moraine Lake, and the plain of six glaciers hike in rain? Any and all info is appreciated.

Thanks!

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
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5,701 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Rain Question

See the other post about rain...

It only is really forecast for rain for part of the weekend - Monday is looking quite good. And I wouldn't even begin to trust the forecast until the day before or even until you wake up that morning. I've had clouds circle around me all day long in Canmore with nary a raindrop ever actually touch the ground.

Even if it does rain, it's unlikely to rain the whole day - much more likely to be a mix of sun, clouds, rain, mist and the occasional late afternoon thundershower. You may not get views all day, but they shouldn't disappear for the entire day. If they do, be flexible and maybe try to do the Icefields on Monday.

So wake up each morning and take it from there - if it's pouring, better to do something inside, but otherwise proceed out with a rain jacket/pants and enjoy the outdoors. If you are unsure about trails, I would check in with the local Parks Canada Centre. They can give you up to date information and advise on which trails might be less than ideal in wet weather.

The Plain of Six Glaciers is doable in wet weather, but you would want good, solid hiking shoes/boots because there are some areas of slippery rocks (where the chains are), and it's apparently still quite snow covered or at least lots of snow patches higher up. I would not go out to the glacier viewpoint in wet weather - there are some areas of wobbly/loose rock/scree where you do not want to slip.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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18,416 posts
107 reviews
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2. Re: Rain Question

The forecast on the Environment Canada website is calling for "showers" - on Saturday, 70% chance of showers for Jasper, and 60% for Banff. "Showers" usually means sporadic and localized. The Weather Network is calling for 80% chance, here in Jasper for Saturday, with total accumulation of 1 to 3 mm (which is nothing!) although Sunday for Banff, they are calling for 5 to 10 mm. Of course, that's three days away, and yes, the forecasts tend to be inaccurate... there could well be no rain at all, or maybe a fair bit. All I take from them, at this point, is that it's likely to be somewhat overcast and chilly - and I would make sure to pack rain gear and warm layers if hiking (including mitts of gloves). Be aware that at higher elevations, rather than rain, it may be sleeting or even snowing... last time I hiked the Plain of Six Glaciers was about this time of year, and on that day, we had everything from a seeming blizzard (windy, snowing, no visibility) to hot sunshine. As long as you are prepared, you'll still be able to get out and enjoy the mountains!

NJ
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360 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Rain Question

Great, thanks for all of the info guys!

calgary
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5 reviews
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4. Re: Rain Question

Woke up to torrential downpour in Calgary this morning; now the sun is shining brightly - weather here is ever changing; don't worry about it.

5. Re: Rain Question

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