Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your weekend weather

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I'd like to kick off today's carefully researched weekend weather column by issuing the following late-breaking bulletin: "WAAAAAAAAAAH!"

I base that sad scientific wail on the fact that just when we thought we were in the clear, just when we were rooting around in the bottom drawer for our Bermuda shorts, just when we thought it was time to fire up the backyard barbecue and call our relatives in Vancouver to brag about our unseasonably mild weather, winter has finally decided to show its (bad word) face in our province.

In a chilling change, we're looking at below-normal temperatures and there's a chance of sno... of sn... of s-s-s-s... of white precipitation capable of accumulating on our driveways, if you catch our (sno...) drift.

In trying to figure out what the heck is going on, weather experts like me are forced to ask a difficult question: What the heck is going on?

I personally don't have a clue, so I called my good buddy, Dale Marciski at Environment Canada, to find out.

What Dale says, in a scientific tone of voice, is the jet stream, which has been flowing further north most of the time, has sort of slid south, allowing colder air to descend on the Prairies.

Dale says a low-pressure system is forming in Alberta and Montana and it could push some ugly stuff our way. "It's definitely going to be a wintry weekend in Winnipeg," he warns. "We'll start to feel it in western Manitoba Saturday night and late evening or overnight Saturday in Winnipeg. Throughout Sunday, it sort of moves through the area and gives us snow and wind, so visibility should be reduced.

"Right behind that low, the snow sort of ends but then colder air gets pulled down again on Monday. My message is: Don't count winter out yet! It wants to remind us it's still in control."

Look for increasing clouds and a bracing high of -10 C today, down from the normal high of -6 C at this time of year. Sunday will be a mild -5 C, but with snow and gusting winds. It looks cloudy most of the week, with the high only reaching a frosty -13 C on Monday.

On the upside, you can keep warm by heading out for the final weekend of Festival du Voyageur, where you can take in the jigging contest today and the fiddling contest on Sunday. The Pea Soup Cook-off (insert yummy noises here) is Sunday at Maison du Bourgeois in Voyageur Park.

Or crawl over to the convention centre today and Sunday for the seventh annual Baby & Kids Show, where you can wail to the Backyardigans and hang out with the cool kids.

And the envelope says... don't forget to stock up on greasy snack-related items and get comfy on the couch Sunday night as Billy Crystal returns for his ninth stint as host of the Academy Awards.

I personally will be at the baby show because, with winter making a comeback, no one will mind when I burst into tears.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2012 A2

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