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The Weather Column

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Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane...

Whoa! Hold on! Oops! On closer inspection, we realize that definitely is NOT Santa Claus; that's embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

If you think about it, you can see how we became confused. What with that gigantic glowing red nose, we just assumed it was Rudolph and his famously shiny schnozz leading the Jolly Old Fat Man into town.

The good news is Santa is definitely coming to town tonight as the star attraction in the 104th edition of the city's annual Santa Claus Parade. The great news is, as far as we know, Rob Ford is still too busy apologizing to show up.

The important thing is that we give Santa a warm Winnipeg welcome, which shouldn't be too hard because, according to Environment Canada, we are looking at a lovely high of 4 C today, way above the normal high of -2 C at this festive time of year.

In a sincere and humanitarian effort to make Santa feel at home, the weather office also says there is a 60 per cent chance of snow flurries this evening, with northerly winds gusting up to 30 km/h, which should help put a little frost on your penguin, whatever that means.

Here's a bit of heartening news from my good buddy Dale Marciski at Environment Canada: "Right now, it looks like the flurries will hold off for the start of the parade and, if we are lucky, won't start until later that evening. The temperature should be around 0 C or 1 C at the start, dropping to -1 or -2 C at the end."

Santa wants to remind everyone the parade kicks off at 5 p.m., but you might want to show up a tad early because it's possible 50,000 to 60,000 people could line the route, which starts at Portage Avenue and Young Street, then rolls east before it wraps up 90 minutes later at Main Street and William Stephenson Way.

The pre-parade block parties get going at 4 p.m., and, please, don't forget to bring a tin for the bin and a new, unwrapped toy for the Christmas Cheer Board. As they do every year, elves from Canada Post will be collecting your letters to Santa. Fireworks follow at The Forks at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, we're looking at a chilly high of just -3 C, along with another 60 per cent chance of flurries. The high for Monday is a scary -8 C, but it's supposed to be sunny. We'll creep back up to -2 C by Thursday, if everyone is good.

After judging all the beautiful floats Saturday, Uncle Doug will be resting up for Sunday, when he dons the red velvet suit to have his picture taken with your dogs and cats and, apparently, boa constrictors at the first of two Pet Pics with Santa Paws fundraisers in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society.

Remember you have to make an appointment at www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca or www.adamyork.ca before bringing your pet to the shelter. You can also book times for Hanukkah Pet Pics, and Santa will also be ready to pose at a second event on Grey Cup Sunday.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 16, 2013 A14

History

Updated on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM CST: added video

5:54 PM: Adds photo.

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