Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your weekend weather

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Get ready to slap on sunscreen and a dorky hat, kids, because summer is almost here.

Is that exciting, or what? I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "Hey, I thought summer was ALREADY here, what with all the hot, sunny weather and everything."

Well, as a respected weather professional, let me just say this: You are an idiot! What we've been enjoying the past few weeks, with a few notable exceptions, has just been really nice SPRING weather.

My point is, it may have been pleasant, but it wasn't (bad word) summer weather. It wasn't "official." But -- and this is the exciting part -- summer officially arrives in this hemisphere on Wednesday with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

On that day, it will be legal for you to go outside and get a wicked sunburn, but that's probably not going to happen, because things are looking a little iffy at the moment. My buddy Dale Marciski at Environment Canada says today, just in time for the Red River Ex, we'll see showers and a risk of a thunderstorm in the morning, with a high of 20 C, down from the normal high of 24 C at this time of year.

Yes, rain and the Ex at the same time! "I don't know how that happens," Dale said. "There's a trough of low pressure coming just in time for the Ex. By the end of Saturday afternoon, there should be some sun.

"I'm not predicting a beautiful clear blue sky, but it should be pretty decent. There's no real hot weather this week. The pattern seems to be a little cloudy and a little showery. It's not going to rain all the time; it's just not that stretch of warm dry weather."

We're looking at more clouds on Sunday -- Urgent Gift Reminder: This also happens to be Father's Day! -- and a high of 21 C. And the first day of summer? That's right: Clouds and a 60 per cent chance of rain.

Fortunately, spring is going out with a major bang in the sense there's a ton of stuff to do, such as heading to the Ex for the monster roller-coaster, the games, the entertainment and the mini-doughnuts.

Also, this is the opening weekend of the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, with lots of free, funky shows at The Cube in Old Market Square. You'll find more information at www.jazzwinnipeg.com .

You and your bike can wheel down to The Forks Market Plaza today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the annual Mountain Equipment Co-op Bike Fest, featuring free repair clinics, a decorating station, live music, prizes and bike polo matches.

On Sunday, I suggest dragging Dad outside to watch thousands of people in expensive sneakers take part in the 34th running of the Manitoba Marathon. Make Dad sit in a lawn chair, wearing sunscreen and a dorky hat. Tell him I said that's "official!"

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2012 A2

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