It is with a heavy heart the Weather Column announces the tragic death of summer 2012.
Summer 2012 passed away peacefully this morning. The season was only a few months old.
Local weather experts blamed summer's sudden demise on the arrival this morning of the autumnal equinox, a time when day and night are of approximately the same length and the date on which we officially mark the first day of fall.
Left to cherish summer's warm memory is virtually everyone in the province of Manitoba, where the beloved season set many weather records that should stand for years to come.
In a time of NHL lockouts and the prolonged deterioration of the local Canadian Football League squad, summer 2012 brought much-needed smiles to the faces of beleaguered citizens who enjoy lying on the beach, flinging Frisbees in the park and grilling meat and/or vegetables in their backyards.
On a personal note, the Weather Column will never forget those glorious August days we spent floating in our new inflatable swimming pool while simultaneously trying to find the perfect margarita recipe.
According to Environment Canada, summer's untimely passing will be formally marked today with some pretty sombre weather. The weather office says mourners today can expect a mix of sun and clouds, with a 30 per cent chance of showers, winds gusting to 60 km/h and a measly daytime high of 11 C, well under the normal high of 16 C at this time of year.
In a show of respect, however, the rest of the week will serve as a salute to summer, with sunny skies and mostly above-normal temperatures. On Sunday, for instance, look for sun and a high of 16 C. The high could hit 19 C on Monday and Thursday.
But the Weather Column would like to remind everyone that while it's OK to be sad, summer would not have wanted us to wallow in our seasonal grief.
Therefore, we urge everyone to put down their tissues and head outside to enjoy such spiritually uplifting events as watching the trees change colour and jumping in the ceremonial pile of leaves.
Or check out the annual Basset Hound Walk set for Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at Kilcona Park. If watching these majestically sad-looking waddling, long-eared sandbags doesn't lift you out of your funk, nothing will.
Another way to keep summer in your hearts is by attending the 16th annual Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival, which runs until Sept. 29. The most high-profile events are at the Shaw Performing Arts Centre at The Forks, but there's stuff for everyone. A festival pass is $40. Go to www.thinairwinnipeg.ca for more info.
Or take time to reflect at the 36th edition of Le Cercle Moliére's annual Lobster Feast today at the convention centre. Wipe the drool (and butter) off your chin and call 204-233-8053 for tickets and info. As you know, summer and crustaceans go together like, um, sand and underpants.
So please don't despair, Winnipeg. Summer is gone, but in my heart, I truly believe one day we will be reunited. Probably next June.