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The Weather Column

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As part of our ongoing holiday season quest to warm the cockles of your heart, we are going to kick off today's weekend weather forecast with a heartfelt seasonal poem. It goes something like this:

'Twas 18 days before Christmas/When all through the house/Not a creature was stirring/Not even a mouse/Because they were all frozen solid/Small, furry blocks of ice/Plop one in your eggnog/Now doesn't that sound nice!"

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OK, if you are like us or the Grinch, that bit of verse should cause your heart to grow three sizes, which, medically speaking, would be potentially fatal, but not nearly as potentially fatal as this (bad word) cold snap we are experiencing.

What we are trying to say here is, it is bone-chilling, soul-destroying, car-immobilizing, bring-in-your-brass-monkeys cold! According to our friends at Environment Canada, the mercury should be running at least 13 degrees below normal throughout the week.

If you are one of those people who insists on leaving the safety of their house, what you need to know is we are looking at a high of just -23 C today, which is (hold on while we do the math for you) a full 15 degrees colder than normal at this holiday shopping time of year.

The good news is, it will warm up Sunday. The bad news is, it will only warm up to -21 C, which is where the temperature will hover for most of the week.

On the upside, there will be a few clouds this morning, otherwise we are looking at sunny skies the entire week.

The important thing to remember is we are Winnipeggers, a hardy pioneering group of people who laugh in the face of winter's deep-freeze. No, I was thinking of Icelanders. In Winnipeg, we're into complaining about the weather, which is our God-given right.

If you're going to grumble about the cold, you might as well take it right to the top at the province's annual open house, which is being held today from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislative Building. You can meet your favourite politicians and hear holiday music. Don't forget to bring a non-perishable food item or an unwrapped toy for the Christmas Cheer Board.

You can also stay warm in your car by checking out Manitoba's largest drive-thru light show, Canad Inns Winter Wonderland, at Red River Exhibition Park. We're talking more than one million sparkling lights in over 25 themed areas, along with skating and sleigh rides. Family vehicle tickets $10 at Mac's, Red River Co-op gas bars and any Canad Inns location.

And we'd like to think a few more of you are going to buy tickets for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre. They'll make you feel warm and welcome, because curlers are easily the nicest people you are ever going to meet. And it's a nice change to see people sliding around on a giant sheet of ice when they're not in their cars.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 7, 2013 0

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