I have some excellent weather-related news for heavily perspiring Winnipeggers.
Even though we've all been sweating like Mike Tyson at a Grade 3 spelling bee and birds have been bursting into flames mid-air, I am pleased to inform you that, technically, Winnipeg has not been hotter than hell.
Before anyone takes offence and lunges at me with a pitchfork, I will point out I am referring here to my favourite U.S. community -- Hell, Mich., located about 20 kilometres south of Ann Arbor and home to roughly 72 devilishly nice citizens, a bar and a general store.
On Friday, Hell was a sweltering 31 C, whereas we were hovering around 26 C, which is still nicely above our normal high of 22 C as summer slowly draws to an end. Today, according to Environment Canada, we are looking at a 60 per cent chance of showers with a risk of a thunderstorm and a slightly above-normal high of 24 C.
So, yes, Winnipeg, it is hotter than normal; but, no, we definitely are not hotter than Hell. At least not yet.
It appears our late-summer hot spell is going to continue for another week, with a few minor interruptions. On Sunday, we'll see a few clouds and a high of 22 C, which is spot-on normal. But we're talking sun the rest of the week and, on Thursday, a blistering high of 30 C.
While everyone needs to take precautions to deal with the heat, Natalie Hasell, a warning-preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada, said we likely won't see the sweltering Humidex levels we recorded last week. "Basically, our humidity levels are going to be reasonable again," Hasell told me Friday. "I don't think we'll see a really high Humidex."
Hasell said while it's been extremely hot in Winnipeg recently, it hasn't been record-breaking hot. We've had about eight days at or above 30 C so far in August, with the mercury hitting 34.1 C on the 28th, our hottest day of the summer so far. Outside the city, some heat records have certainly been melted. In Victoria Beach, it hit a stunning 38.3 C on Aug. 28, making it Canada's hot spot that day.
As always, there's a lot of late-summer fun in store for the Labour Day weekend, starting with TJ's Gift Foundation: Rockin for Choices, an anti-drug themed concert that runs from noon to 9 p.m. today at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park. Or head out to Oak Hammock Marsh this weekend to see thousands of shorebirds getting ready for migration. They'll have horse-drawn wagon rides on Labour Day from 1:30 p.m to 5 p.m. Speaking of animals, pet owners are invited to bring their best friends to Central Park at 10:30 a.m. Sunday for a blessing-of-the-pets ceremony hosted by Knox Church.
On Labour Day Monday, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is hosting a street party to mark the final day of its amazing 100 Masters: Only in Canada exhibition. We're talking live music, chalk artists and food vendors, and the gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the exhibit, featuring a who's who of the art world.
And if it isn't hot enough for your liking, you can always go to Hell, where I've been told the local watering hole, the Dam Site Inn, only charges 50 cents for a beer after 9 p.m. Now that's a hell of a deal.