Winnipeg falls for the weather

City posts hottest October day on record


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BIRDS HILL BEACH -- Summer clawed back for a surprise last hurrah on Wednesday, sending Manitobans scurrying to enjoy record-smashing temperatures.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/10/2011 (4195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

BIRDS HILL BEACH — Summer clawed back for a surprise last hurrah on Wednesday, sending Manitobans scurrying to enjoy record-smashing temperatures.

Maybe it’s a meteorological quirk or maybe Mother Nature just wanted to turn up the heat to give the Winnipeg Jets the warmest welcome ever, but Wednesday dawned hot and windy, sending the mercury soaring to 31.1 C.

That bests the record for both the hottest Oct. 5 and the hottest day in October in Winnipeg since record-keeping started in 1872. The previous record, set Oct. 1, 1992, was 30.5 C.

“It truly is a spectacular situation, no question about it,” said David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. “It’s hard for nature to produce this kind of warm temperature when there’s more nighttime than daytime, and the sun is lower in the sky.”

Even the youngest ‘Peggers knew the sunny day seemed a little — funny.

“When my son found out we were going to the beach, he said, ‘But Mom, there’s leaves on the ground!’ ” Lisa EisBrenner said with a chuckle on the sandy beach at Birds Hill Park with son Owen, 3, and friends.

They weren’t the only ones enjoying one more day in the sun. Though the beach stayed mostly empty and the park’s washrooms remained closed for the (unseasonably warm) season, groups of families and friends turned up at Birds Hill to spend the day sunning on the beach, bumping volleyballs against the wind and splashing in the water.

Some beachgoers said they booked the day off work, some said they slipped out of school — but all were full of smiles when asked how surreal it felt to wear a bathing suit outside in October.

“It’s amazing,” said Kim Konowalchuk, who arrived with friend Catena Avila to go for a dip in the lake. “I’ve never in my life experienced weather like this. As a kid, October, especially near Halloween, was like blizzards and trudging through snow. So we had to come.”

These will likely be the last 20 C-plus days we’ll see this year, Phillips said. While Winnipeg’s forecast calls for sun Thursday with a high of 27 C, temperatures are expected to start dropping back to seasonal norms of about 13 C after that. Nine of the last 10 years have seen snow arrive in October, so it’s doubtful 2011 will buck that trend.

But the climatologist also offered southern Manitobans some good news. You know that old wisdom that a long, hot summer will only pave the way for an especially nasty winter? Yeah, we don’t need to worry about that.

“Perish the thought,” Phillips said. “There’s no connection at all. I wish there was, because then we’d have this (forecasting) thing all figured out!”

Weather facts, courtesy of Environment Canada and the Weather Network

31.1 C

Wednesday’s high in Winnipeg

11 C

Wednesday’s early-morning low

13 C

Normal high for Oct. 5

2 C

October’s normal low



Total number of 30 C-plus days in Winnipeg in 2011

25 C

Wednesday’s temperature in Mexico City

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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