Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend weather

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While The Weather Column does its best to avoid clichés like the plague, occasionally we find the need to resort to a time-tested phrase to express our feelings about current climatological conditions.

Which is why we are going to kick things off today by telling you that, in our expert opinion, we are "over the hump" when it comes to winter.

Pardon us for mixing our metaphors, but what we are trying to say is when it comes to winter weather, we have "rounded the clubhouse turn" and are now "playing the back nine," so to speak.

Get ready to jump for joy and slather yourself with suntan lotion, Winnipeg, because it would appear the Winter That Wouldn't Die is slowly dragging its slushy corpse offstage.

We say this because, according to Environment Canada, we are about to enjoy a stretch of mild weather, with normal or above-normal temperatures and -- this may be frightening for some of you -- frequent sightings of a giant fiery orb known in astronomical circles as "the sun."

Today, for instance, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud along with a balmy high of -5 C, which is one entire degree above the normal high of -6 C at this time of year. On Sunday, expect a few more clouds and a high of -6 C.

But if you visit the weather office's website, what you will find there above the forecast high temperatures for the rest of the week are extremely cute little cartoon-style suns stretching all the way to Thursday.

Q: Is that exciting, or what? A: Yes, it's extremely exciting.

On Monday, the high should hit -3 C, which is almost like living in some tropical paradise, such as Sudbury or even Moose Jaw.

What this means, Winnipeg, is the time has come to get off the couch, head outside and shake your fists at the skies, because once again you have survived the worst Mother Nature can throw at you. Then, you should immediately run back inside and hide, because Mother Nature can be very spiteful.

Remember, this is the final weekend to enjoy fiddle music, beard-growing, sleigh rides, snow sculptures and maple taffy at the 44th annual Festival du Voyageur at Fort Gibraltar. Day passes are $8 to $15. As if that wasn't enough frolicking, on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. on the River Trail at The Forks, the festival is presenting a Family Rendez-vous featuring games, activities, adventure and a lot more.

At this point, you'll need a short nap to refresh yourselves before crawling down to the convention centre today and Sunday for the eighth annual Winnipeg Baby & Kids Show, a gigantic event for expectant parents and young families.

We're talking the latest in products and fashions for tiny human beings, along with special play zones for babies and older kids. If you're lucky, you may even get to meet Franklin the Turtle. I hear he's really coming out of his shell.

On Sunday, you'll want to toddle back to The Forks for Snow Jam, the city's only urban snowboarding competition for men and women. Open practices start at 9 a.m. and the competition begins at 1 p.m.

So get out there and break the icy grip of winter, Winnipeg. Do it without resorting to cheap clichés. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it, because every cloud has a silver lining.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 23, 2013 A2

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