Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your weekend weather

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You want statistics? We got statistics? We got more (insert very naughty word here) statistics than Major League Baseball.

Which is to say we had hoped to kick off your holiday weekend forecast, the first for the glorious month of September, by presenting figures proving August was a record-breaking hot month.

Sadly, despite our warmest wishes, August has let us down. Sure, it was a good month, but, when we analyze the reams of data, it wasn't a great month.

As my buddy Dale Marciski from Environment Canada put it: "It was a warm month but not as warm as last August, which was exceptionally warm. We didn't have as many hot days and we had a few cool ones in the middle of the month."

The average temperature this August (calculated by adding daily highs and monthly lows) was 19.2 C, which is higher than the normal of 18.5 C, but nowhere near the record 22.5 C set in August 1983.

"I tried to rank August and it didn't even crack the top 40," Dale told me, a tiny touch of sadness in his voice, whereas July, with an average temperature of 24.2 C, was our hottest since July 1936.

The single hottest day was Aug. 29 with a high of 35.4 C and a humidex of 42, but even that wasn't a record.

For the record, this summer (July to August) we had 20 days above 30 C (14 in July and six in August), whereas we normally get 14 days that warm in an ENTIRE year. The most in recent memory was 1961, when we had 28 days above 30 C.

But statistics, as they say, are for losers. You want to know what we've done for you lately, which brings us to today's forecast, which calls for some clouds with a 30 per cent chance of showers, risk of a thunderstorm and a high of 25 C, compared to the normal high of 21 C at this time of year.

Look for more clouds and a 40 per cent chance of showers Sunday with a sizzling high of 31 C. Labour Day should bring a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 28 C. "Summer's not done yet," Dale promised. "There could be some rain, but it will be spotty. It's been a real dry summer." Dale and I both want you to get out and bask in the late-summer heat by taking in the third-annual Barge Festival at The Forks today and Sunday.

Tonight you can catch Celtica, a bagpipe-blowing rock band on the floating stage, and on Sunday night there'll be more bagpipes and (hurray!) fireworks.

If (and this is hard to imagine) you've already had your fill of bagpipes, the city's Chinese community is also throwing a bash this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Great Wall Performing Arts group.

Head to the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park today from noon to 9 p.m. for a feast of traditional foods, crafts and high-flying entertainment.

Speaking of food, you can check out the farmers market at Red River Exhibition Park today from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. But make sure you're in front of your TV Sunday to watch the Bombers surgically remove the melons from the heads of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

And here's one last statistic to chew on: If you've enjoyed today's forecast half as much as I have, then I've enjoyed it twice as much as you. Do the math.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2012 A2

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