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Average Weather in Fort McMurray Canada

In Fort McMurray, the summers are long, comfortable, and partly cloudy and the winters are frigid, snowy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -5°F to 77°F and is rarely below -29°F or above 87°F.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Fort McMurray for warm-weather activities is from early July to mid August.

Climate Summary

frigidfreezingcoldcoolcomfortablewarmcoolcoldfreezingJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec56%56%22%22%overcastclearprecipitation: 2.7 inprecipitation: 2.7 in0.3 in0.3 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%0%0%drydrytourism score: 5.4tourism score: 5.40.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 4.0 months, from May 14 to September 14, with an average daily high temperature above 63°F. The hottest day of the year is July 26, with an average high of 77°F and low of 54°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.1 months, from November 20 to February 23, with an average daily high temperature below 23°F. The coldest day of the year is January 11, with an average low of -5°F and high of 10°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfrigidfrigidcoldcoolcoolcomfortablevery coldfreezingvery cold
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Krasnoyarsk, Russia (4,535 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Fort McMurray (view comparison).

Clouds

In Fort McMurray, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Fort McMurray begins around April 17 and lasts for 5.9 months, ending around October 13. On August 3, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 56% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 44% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around October 13 and lasts for 6.1 months, ending around April 17. On February 27, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 78% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 22% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in Fort McMurrayclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Aug 356%Aug 356%Feb 2722%Feb 2722%Apr 1739%Apr 1739%Oct 1339%Oct 1339%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Fort McMurray varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 4.2 months, from May 15 to September 20, with a greater than 20% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 33% on June 26.

The drier season lasts 7.8 months, from September 20 to May 15. The smallest chance of a wet day is 7% on February 15.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Fort McMurray changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 7.2 months, from March 27 to November 2. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 33% on June 26.

Snow alone is the most common for 4.8 months, from November 2 to March 27. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 11% on December 3.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in Fort McMurraysnowrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jun 2633%Jun 2633%Feb 157%Feb 157%Mar 2713%Mar 2713%Nov 214%Nov 214%Jan 110%Jan 110%May 1520%May 1520%Sep 2020%Sep 2020%snowrainmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Fort McMurray experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 6.6 months, from April 6 to October 26, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 22, with an average total accumulation of 2.7 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 5.4 months, from October 26 to April 6. The least rain falls around December 29, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Fort McMurray experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 6.9 months, from October 9 to May 7, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 4, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.4 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 5.1 months, from May 7 to October 9. The least snow falls around July 16, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in Fort McMurraysnowsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 in3.0 inDec 40.4 inDec 40.4 inJul 160.0 inJul 160.0 inMar 190.3 inMar 190.3 inOct 90.1 inOct 90.1 inMay 70.1 inMay 70.1 in
The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Fort McMurray varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 6 hours, 47 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 17 hours, 49 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 8 minMar 2012 hr, 8 minMar 2017 hr, 49 minJun 2117 hr, 49 minJun 2112 hr, 13 minSep 2212 hr, 13 minSep 226 hr, 47 minDec 216 hr, 47 minDec 21nightnightday
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 4:32 AM on June 18, and the latest sunrise is 4 hours, 30 minutes later at 9:02 AM on December 28. The earliest sunset is at 3:45 PM on December 14, and the latest sunset is 6 hours, 37 minutes later at 10:21 PM on June 23.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Fort McMurray during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 184:32 AMJun 184:32 AM10:21 PMJun 2310:21 PMJun 23Dec 143:45 PMDec 143:45 PM9:02 AMDec 289:02 AMDec 28Mar 11DSTMar 11DSTDSTNov 4DSTNov 4daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2018. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The perceived humidity level in Fort McMurray, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jan 300%Jan 300%Jul 260%Jul 260%drydry
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Fort McMurray does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.5 miles per hour of 4.3 miles per hour throughout.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph1 mph2 mph3 mph4 mph5 mph6 mph7 mphApr 144.7 mphApr 144.7 mphAug 13.8 mphAug 13.8 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Fort McMurray varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the south for 1.6 months, from February 27 to April 15, with a peak percentage of 29% on February 27. The wind is most often from the north for 1.9 months, from April 15 to June 12, with a peak percentage of 29% on May 8. The wind is most often from the west for 8.5 months, from June 12 to February 27, with a peak percentage of 38% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in Fort McMurrayWSNWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westsoutheastnorth
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Fort McMurray throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Fort McMurray for general outdoor tourist activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468105.45.40.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Fort McMurray for hot-weather activities is from mid July to early August, with a peak score in the last week of July.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468102.12.10.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudsclouds
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Fort McMurray typically lasts for 3.8 months (117 days), from around May 20 to around September 14, rarely starting before May 1 or after June 9, and rarely ending before August 25 or after October 4.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Fort McMurraygrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%May 2050%May 2050%Sep 1450%Sep 1450%Jun 990%Jun 990%Aug 2590%Aug 2590%May 110%May 110%Oct 410%Oct 410%0%Feb 230%Feb 23Jul 21100%Jul 21100%frigidfreezingcoldcoolcomfortablevery cold
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Fort McMurray should appear around May 11, only rarely appearing before April 30 or after May 24.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in Fort McMurrayJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F200°F400°F600°F800°F1,000°F1,200°F1,400°F1,600°FMay 1190°FMay 1190°FJul 26900°FJul 26900°FDec 311,512°FDec 311,512°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.7 months, from April 26 to August 17, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 19, with an average of 6.1 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.9 months, from October 21 to February 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 1.5 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 0.4 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Fort McMurraybrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWhJun 196.1 kWhJun 196.1 kWhDec 210.4 kWhDec 210.4 kWhApr 264.9 kWhApr 264.9 kWhAug 174.9 kWhAug 174.9 kWhOct 211.5 kWhOct 211.5 kWhFeb 191.5 kWhFeb 191.5 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Fort McMurray are 56.727 deg latitude, -111.381 deg longitude, and 1,040 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Fort McMurray contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 397 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 930 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (748 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (1,781 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Fort McMurray is covered by trees (42%), sparse vegetation (17%), herbaceous vegetation (16%), and artificial surfaces (10%), within 10 miles by trees (65%) and herbaceous vegetation (23%), and within 50 miles by trees (70%) and herbaceous vegetation (18%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Fort McMurray, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Fort McMurray.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Fort McMurray according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Fort McMurray is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Fort McMurray and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Fort McMurray CS, Alta. (44%, 13 kilometers, southeast); Fort McMurray Airport (44%, 13 kilometers, southeast); and Mildred Lake (11%, 36 kilometers, north).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.