Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend weather

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Before I dampen your spirits with this weekend's forecast, let me take a moment here to shut off my sump pump because I can't hear myself think.

OK, that's better. Now, in the wake of Thursday night's deluge, let me kick things off with this weather preparedness tip: If your spouse asks you to clean out the gutters before the rain starts, you should probably do it, assuming you have both gutters and a spouse.

I personally survived the downpour with just a bit of seepage in the basement, which is not bad because (insert drum roll here) you have to expect a little seepage when you get to my age.

Not that I am complaining. That would be a bad idea given the horrific flooding chaos currently unfolding in Alberta. Everyone here at weather central sends a sincere shout-out to our friends in the west.

My buddy Dale Marciski from Environment Canada blamed our downpour on a line of thunderstorms that developed because of a large, unstable air mass. The severity depended on where you live.

"We had a report of up to 74 millimetres of rain in little over an hour in Linden Woods, while there was about one mm in North Kildonan," Dale pointed out. "The Forks only had five and the airport had 16. The heavy rain was really concentrated in the southwest quadrant."

The official forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds today with a high of 26 C, a tad higher than the normal high of 24 C for the beginning of summer. Sunday's outlook calls for rain and a high of 22 C.

Dale said most areas won't see a repeat of Thursday's torrential rains, but it would be wise to keep an eye on the sky this weekend. "There could be some local pockets of heavy rain," he said. "It may not be in Winnipeg. The most likely area for thunderstorms Saturday is east of Winnipeg and a little area near the Saskatchewan border. We're not out of the woods yet. There will be thunderstorms around southern Manitoba. I would not be surprised if we had thundershowers in Winnipeg or close to us Saturday evening."

We may not be able to stop the rain, but we can celebrate the official arrival of summer by taking in the final weekend of the Red River Ex, where you can top up on mini-doughnuts, chocolate-covered bacon and deep-fried Oreos before taking your stomach for a spin on the thrill rides.

Or head down to The Forks today from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the seventh annual Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration with a host of family activities and a free concert starting at 7:30 p.m., featuring some of the biggest names in aboriginal music and TV. For more info, visit www.aboriginaldaylive.com.

On Sunday morning, you and your best friend can have a howl at the Fairmont Winnipeg Paws in Motion pet walkathon in Assinboine Park. It's the Winnipeg Humane Society's biggest fundraiser. Registration starts at 8 a.m. (there's a $20 fee) and the walk starts at 10:30 a.m. Don't forget your leash.

If you want to release your inner Viking, there's a "Midsommar" Swedish Picnic Party and Maypole parade Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Vasa Lund Park, 5419 Roblin Blvd., featuring Swedish music, folk dances, storytelling, food and ancient games such as "the frying pan toss." Remember: Even Vikings need lawn chairs.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 A2

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