5 tips to get you ready for fall in MB

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Where did summer go? Suddenly it’s September and in Manitoba this means that you will start to feel a slight chill in the air. As the weather transitions to winter months, you will notice that daylight becomes shorter and the leaves of trees shift to more dramatic colors.

What is fall?

If you come from the tropics like me, then fall is new to you. Also known as autumn in North America, fall is one of the four seasons, the rest being winter, spring and summer. From September to November, the weather gradually shifts from average temperatures of 11.8°C to 24.8°C, to as low as -1°C to 9.8°C.

The first day of fall or autumn is called the autumnal equinox. This is the day when the length of daylight is equal to darkness (with the sun shining directly on the equator). For those on the opposite side of the globe (Southern hemisphere), this is known as the Spring (vernal) equinox. Autumn equinox in Canada occurs around September 22 to 24 of every year (time and date.com). To know more about vernal and autumnal equinoxes, you can also go to: The timenow.com.

Enjoy the cool wind and brace for winter

Fall is actually enjoyable. With the crisp, fresh air and the changing colors of nature, it is the perfect time for long walks and sight-seeing. Here are some suggestions to enjoy fall:

  1. Take advantage of the mild weather
    Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you should start staying indoors. Fall camping is a great opportunity to soak in the breathtaking beauty of Manitoba in autumn. The cooler weather also means less bugs and more reason to get warm by the campfire with a mug of hot beverage. Also, you can take advantage of less crowded trails (easier to observe physical distancing) and lower provincial park fees (check Manitoba Parks).

    Another great reason to be outdoors is the northern lights. According to NASA, fall is the start of “aurora season.” Aurora borealis or northern lights is a gorgeous display of bright dancing lights in the night sky. This natural phenomenon is caused by charged particles from the sun striking atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere causing them to light up (What causes the aurora borealis or northern lights? Eleanor Imster, Earth Science Wire).

  2. Start checking the temperature
    Fall is a good time to start the habit of checking the temperature before you leave the house. This will help you get dressed and prepare for the weather. Checking the temperature is a good habit to have throughout winter.
  3. Shift to fall clothing and get winter clothes ready
    Time to store your short shorts, tank tops and flip-flops and say hello to sweaters, scarves and boots. Layering your clothes in the fall is a good practice. You can wear a cardigan or light sweater on top of your shirt or blouse which you can shed later in the day when the weather gets warm. In the evening, you can put on a thick scarf when it gets a little chilly.

    It would also be a good idea to re-arrange your closet and start bringing out your thicker clothes so you can easily access them.

  4. Prepare for Thanksgiving and Halloween
    Fall is the start of the new school year. But before you know it, Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) is here and then Halloween quickly follows. Expect a lot of feasts and parties as these celebrations are marked with feasts and merry-making. For Halloween, get ready with costumes and candy for the kids (however, trick-or-treating may be postponed this year due to the pandemic).
  5. Get your house ready for the colder months
    This is the best time for home for repairs before the onset of winter. Here are the areas of the house you should prioritize for inspection, repair or cleaning:
    • Clean your gutters and downspouts. Sweep out all the leaves and debris that can clog your house’s drainage system.
    • Check your heating system if it is working. You can have it checked by a professional or by your building superintendent if you live in an apartment.
    • A humidifier will be useful to keep your home comfortable. It prevents dry air, especially during winter months. Also, check your windows and doors if they are sealed properly when closed. This will help keep warm air inside your house. It will also lower your heating bills.
    • Around the time you adjust your clocks to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time (first Sunday of November) would also be a good time to change the batteries of your smoke detectors and other house alarms.
    • A general cleanup is recommended. Vacuum dust which may have accumulated during the summer months from your carpets and other surfaces. This could prevent allergies or respiratory problems. Make space in your garage to store your summer gear, like patio furniture, gardening tools, or pool accessories.

    Article updated August 13, 2020.

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