Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Doug A2 Weather Column for Sat. Nov. 24

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It's Grey Cup weekend, a time when we in the weather business are required under federal law to provide you with a hard-hitting forecast packed with enough football cliches to get your "backfield in motion."

Allow me to "kick off" today's outlook by saying that if you are going to get the maximum enjoyment out the 100th Grey Cup game between Calgary and Toronto, you are going to have to "give 120 per cent" and "put your pants on two legs at a time."

I have no idea what that means, so here's a pre-game analysis from my buddy Dale Marciski, Environment Canada's resident football expert:

"We've got a low-pressure system charging across the Prairies and the big boys on the offensive line will be opening holes for some snow to run through beginning Saturday morning and continuing in the afternoon.

"Would you call that a blitz? Why not? We're talking two to four centimetres of snow Saturday. Look for a rush of wind with this low, with winds gaining big yards at 30 km/h to 50 km/h."

I believe what Dale was trying to say here is that some nasty clouds will "block out" the sun Saturday, holding the temperature on the scoreboard to a measly -6C, which is a "convert" (that's one degree) colder than the normal score of -5C at this festive football time of year.

On Grey Cup Sunday, our frosty city will be "sacked" by a chilly daytime high of -8C, but don't expect the clouds to fumble any more snow.

Here's another "audible" from Dale: "We're going to get tackled by some cold Arctic air behind this low-pressure system that will smack us with below-normal temperatures Sunday, Monday and Tuesday."

For all you non-football fans, your weather coach wants you to put your game faces on because there's a lot of great stuff to do on this most hallowed of sporting weekends.

Before you hit the showers, make sure to make some "positive yards" to the Winnipeg Humane Society's shelter at 45 Hurst Way on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. for the second Pet Pics with Santa Paws fundraiser. Book an appointment at www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca

Or "reverse field" entirely and drive yourself into the "end zone" of musical happiness tonight at the opening of Manitoba Opera's production of Verdi's Rigoletto, wherein The Weather Column makes its operatic debut as a lecherous lout in the big Act 1 party scene. Tickets at 204-944-8824 or www.manitobaopera.mb.ca

If you haven't kicked off your holiday shopping yet, "huddle up" and head down to the 33rd annual Signatures Craft Show and Sale this weekend at the convention centre to score some toys and jewelry and stuff.

What do Environment Canada's computers say about who'll win the big game? According to Dale: "Calgary has more sunshine on Sunday with a high of -2C, while Toronto is cloudy with a chance of flurries and a warmer high of 2C, so the meteorological signs are mixed."

One thing, however, is certain: There's a 100 per cent chance of me eating my weight in greasy snack-related times. And that's at the opera!

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 24, 2012 A2

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