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Your weekend weather

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I know what you are thinking, Winnipeg. You are thinking: "Well, March came in like a cute little lamb as opposed to a man-eating lion, so that's a good thing, right?"

Forgive me if I laugh ("Mua-ha-ha!") in a scornful manner here, Winnipeg, but I'm sorry to say that, weather-wise, you are totally out to lunch.

According to my buddy Dale Marciski from Environment Canada, no matter how March comes in, it is impossible to say how it will go out, because it is a wildly unpredictable month.

"The message of March is that basically you can get almost anything," Dale told me Friday. "You can have really warm temperatures like last year, or you can have very stormy weather with big snowstorms."

What we shouldn't expect is sultry weather like we had last March, the warmest in Winnipeg since records began. "I'm not saying we're going to get a huge snowstorm, but history shows us it's a definite possibility," Dale gently pointed out.

"It's a transition month. It came in like a lamb -- tranquil, peaceful. But don't expect that to continue, because it's March."

Speaking of which, Dale says a low-pressure system forming in Alberta will dip down into Montana and the Dakotas and bring us more snow over the next four days. Today, for example, the outlook calls for a 60 per cent chance of flurries and a lamb-like high of -4 C, a tad warmer than the normal high of -5 C.

On Sunday, we're talking an even "lambier" high of -3 C and another 60 per cent chance of snow. There's a chance the flurries will become more intense on Monday and Tuesday. "Somebody's going to get significant snow, probably the Dakotas more than us, but it bears watching," Dale advises.

For those of you who can't get enough statistics, Dale notes that some of our biggest snowstorms traditionally occur in March, including:

-- 38.1 cm on March 4, 1935 (with a total of 53.1 cm from March 3-6);

-- 35.6 cm on March 4, 1966;

-- 30.5 cm on March 6, 1916;

-- 30.5 cm on March 9, 1925;

-- 29.5 cm on March 25, 1904.

The point is, anything can happen in March, which means we need to live for the moment. A good way to do that would be to check out the annual Mid-Canada Boat Show at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, featuring three floors of stuff for boating buffs, including the Mega Fish Tank, a 5,000-gallon semi-trailer tank stocked with local fish, which I hear are very nice when coated with bread crumbs.

If you're not into fish and boats, head to the Garrick Centre tonight for Lebowskipalooza, a celebration of the Coen brothers' cult classic, The Big Lebowski, featuring games, costumes and lots of White Russians. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the proceeds go to the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba. Tickets are $10 at Movie Village, online at Diyobo.com and at the door.

For those looking for films with a little less Lebowski and a lot less palooza, Freeze Frame: International Film Festival for Kids kicks off Sunday night. Visit www.freezeframeonline.org for more information.

Whatever you do, Winnipeg, let's all say a silent prayer that March decides to go out like a fluffy spring lamb, which we think would be very nice, especially with a little mint sauce.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2013 A2

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