Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your Weekend Weather

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The Weather Column realizes a vital part of its mandate is to provide you with reasonably accurate information on what kind of weather to expect in the days ahead.

But, as a public service, we have just stuck our head outside the window and, this comes from the heart, we don't (bad word) feel like talking about it, at least not yet.

So let's kick things off with something a bit more cheerful, by which we mean a loving look back at The Summer That Was. What you need to know is, when we weather experts talk about summer we are talking about June, July and August.

According to our buddy Dale Marciski at Environment Canada, the average temperature (calculated by adding daily highs and nightly lows) for the summer of 2012 was 19.8 C, compared to the normal of 18.3 C, meaning we tied for the 10th warmest summer ever. The warmest was in 1988 with an average of 21 C.

Dale also pointed out that during that three-month period, our total precipitation was 125.5 millimetres, way under the normal 235.2 mm, meaning it was our 10th driest summer ever. The driest was in 1929, when only 76.7 mm fell.

September was the second-driest since they started keeping records in 1872. We had only 4 mm of precipitation last month, down from the normal 52.3 mm. The record is 1.3 mm in 1948. With an average of 12.6 C, September was also the 15th straight month with above-normal temperatures.

Now that we've numbed you with numbers, let's take a look at what is shaping up to be a bleak week, although there is no sno... no sn... no frozen white stuff in the outlook, because that ugly system from South Dakota appears to be heading east.

The outlook for today calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 8 C, well under the normal high of 13 C at this time of year. On Sunday, we'll see a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 10 C, which is about as good as it gets this week.

But don't despair, because there's a ton of fun stuff to do, starting with chugging down to Union Station at The Forks today from 11-4 p.m. to check out the Grey Cup Train Tour. Along with eyeballing the cup and immersing yourself in gridiron greatness, you can meet Bombers players and tuck into a fundraising barbecue for the Keeping Abreast Foundation.

If pigskin isn't your thing, wing it to FortWhyte Alive on Sunday for the Sunset Goose Flights. Admission is $3 to $5 or $12 per carload. Or scare yourself silly at Six Pines Haunted Attractions, located four kilometres north of the Perimeter on Sturgeon Road. There's fun for the kids and zombies for the grown-ups. Visit www.sixpines.mb.ca for maps and more info.

What The Weather Column really wants you to do this holiday weekend is stop and think about the fact Winnipeg Harvest, our local food bank, is in the middle of its biggest food drive of the year. They're currently feeding more than 54,000 Winnipeggers and another 10,000 folks in rural areas, up 19 per cent from last year.

So put down the gravy boat and write Harvest a nice fat cheque, or swing by and make a food donation, because that will guarantee you a 100 per cent chance of having a truly happy Thanksgiving. And, please, don't forget the cranberries!

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2012 A2

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