Welcome to Summer 2013, everyone! Hot enough for you?
I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and suggest most of you didn't have a clue summer had already begun.
Well, apparently it has. We have skipped spring entirely and are moving straight into the sweltering heat and blood-thirsty mosquitoes of a Prairie summer.
I became aware of this the other night as I lay on the couch watching our big-screen TV when, suddenly and without warning, there was a commercial for a famous coffee and doughnut chain, whose identity I will not reveal other than to say its name rhymes with Bim Bortons, if you catch my subtle drift.
Anyway, it was an extremely happy ad with a snappy song and the thrust of its gist was the fact that, hey, summer is here and anyone with half a brain will drop whatever they are doing and head into this coffee and doughnut chain right now to beat the heat by buying vast quantities of frozen lemonade.
I have nothing against frozen lemonade, but I am a little embarrassed, what with being the weather columnist and all, that I was in the dark about summer slipping in via the back door.
I had assumed that, since the summer solstice isn't until June 21, we would have a little time to wash our Bermuda shorts and stock up on gin and tonic, but it seems that isn't the case.
I should have known, because the signs of summer are definitely out there. For example, on Friday morning, when I drove to the office, I was almost able to see over the top of the snowbanks lining my driveway as I backed onto the street.
So grab a frozen lemonade, kids, because it's time for our first weekend weather forecast of the earliest summer in years. According to Environment Canada, we can look for a mix of sun and clouds today and a sizzling high of 1 C, which is only 11 degrees under the normal high of 12 C at this time of year.
The outlook for Sunday calls for a blistering high of 3 C and periods of snow or rain, so you might want to postpone that trip to the beach. Speaking of which, it should be sunny the rest of the week, with temperatures hitting 7 C by Wednesday. So start waxing down your surfboards, kids.
You'll be happy to know there is lots of fun, summery stuff to do this weekend, such as heading to St. Vital Centre today for the start of the eight-day Children's Hospital Book Market, now in its 53rd year. They have a gazillion books, so you'll be able to find something for the beach.
And what would summer be without chocolate? That's a rhetorical question, but you can ponder it today by heading to the Gates on Roblin for the first annual Chocoholics Buffet featuring a 24-foot table groaning with 3,000 pieces of heaven, with proceeds going to the United Way. Tickets are $53.99 at www.ChocoholicsBuffet.com. I'm guessing it's sugar rush seating.
You can burn off the excess sugar by joining the folks at Werier's Walkers for a guided walking tour of West Broadway and its fascinating history, people and politics. For more information, visit www.meetup.com/weriers-walkers/.
Or maybe just clear the (bad word) snow off your patio and fire up the barbecue. I recommend putting something extra in the lemonade!