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Your weekend weather

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I have excellent news for sweat-stained Manitobans trying to survive our scorching heat wave -- it's not the heat, it's the humidity.

There, doesn't that make you feel a lot better about the fact that, when you do something foolish, such as leaving your air-conditioned home or office, the blistering rays of the sun transform you into a puddle of bubbling goo, much like what happened when Dorothy liquidated the Wicked Witch of the West -- "Look what you've done! I'm melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?"

The important weather-related point we are trying to make is this -- it's not a dry heat. For example, on Wednesday, the temperature hit 35 C, but with the humidity it felt like 42.

"The humidity has been fairly high -- there's a lot of moisture in the air -- and that makes it feel worse" is how my pal Dale Marciski from Environment Canada put it Friday. "When you get flows from the south, it pulls the moist air up from the United States.

"But we can't blame it all on the States. Our crops give out lots of moisture, too, at certain stages of development. Crops add extra moisture to the air."

But Dale points out that while it's been as humid as a Turkish steam bath, we're not even close to breaking records set during an oppressive heat wave in 1936. Last year in Winnipeg, we had 21 days over 30 C, whereas a normal summer is about 14 days. So far this year, we've had seven days over 30 C.

The really swell news is we are going to get a teeny-tiny "break" from the crazy heat, because a northerly flow of cooler air will bring us highs in the high 20s as opposed to the low or mid-30s.

Today, for instance, Winnipeg can expect sun and a high of 28 C, only a couple of degrees up from the normal high of 26 C at this time of year. Sunday's outlook calls for sun and clouds and another high of 28 C.

The rest of the week looks the same, with a 40 per cent chance of showers Monday.

"I'd say it's a reprieve from the really hot temperatures -- it'll just be a few degrees above normal," Dale promised.

So don't try to use the heat as an excuse for staying inside this weekend. Head down to the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks today from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. for No Stone Unturned, the fourth annual free concert and feast to raise awareness of Manitoba's missing and murdered women.

On Sunday, you can enjoy the smooth jazz series at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park. Or hop in the car and head to the Canadian National Frog Jumping Championships at the 43rd annual Frog Follies Festival in the fun-loving village of St-Pierre-Jolys, a mere 50-kilometre jump south of Winnipeg.

So if the weather is beating you down, just steal a page from the happy little frog. Because it may be hot, but it's a damp hot! Now you can't say I didn't toad you.

doug.speirs@freepress.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 14, 2012 A2

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