In the summer, continental air masses have produced record maximum temperatures from 32 °C (90 °F) in the mountains to over 40 °C (104 °F) in southeastern Alberta.

Alberta extends for over 1,200 km (750 mi) from north to south; its climate, therefore, varies considerably.

The region, with its proximity to Canada's largest oil fields, has most of western Canada's oil refinery capacity.

The province is the namesake of the Alberta clipper, a type of intense, fast-moving winter storm that generally forms over or near the province and pushed with great speed by the continental polar jetstream descends over the rest of Southern Canada and the northern tier of the United States.

In the summer, the average daytime temperatures range from around 21 °C (70 °F) in the Rocky Mountain valleys and far north, up to around 28 °C (82 °F) in the dry prairie of the southeast.

Most of the northern half of the province is boreal forest, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are largely forested (see Alberta Mountain forests and Alberta-British Columbia foothills forests).

The southern quarter of the province is prairie, ranging from shortgrass prairie in the southeastern corner to mixed grass prairie in an arc to the west and north of it.

Alberta has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.

The province is open to cold arctic weather systems from the north, which often produce extremely cold conditions in winter.

Almost 75% of the province's population lives in the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor.

The land grant policy to the railroads served as a means to populate the province in its early years.

The province extends 1,223 km (760 mi) north to south and 660 km (410 mi) east to west at its maximum width.

Its highest point is 3,747 m (12,293 ft) at the summit of Mount Columbia in the Rocky Mountains along the southwest border while its lowest point is 152 m (499 ft) on the Slave River in Wood Buffalo National Park in the northeast.

Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, is located approximately in the geographic centre of the province.