The Old Farmer’s Almanac releases forecast for winter

Out of the freezer and into the fridge

by Kyle Born

The Old Farmer’s Almanac weather map of Canada for winter 2019-2020.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac weather map of Canada for winter 2019-2020. Image courtesy The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Prairie snowmobilers rejoice, it’s going to be a mild, snowy winter! Riders in southern B.C. and southern Alberta, however, may be in for some tough sledding.

The Canadian Edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac has released its forecast for this coming winter, and Western Canada is predicted to have above-normal precipitation in the 2019-20 season. Temperatures will average above normal through all of Canada, except southern British Columbia. Snowfall will be below normal in southern portions of Alberta and British Columbia and above normal elsewhere. The southern areas of Alberta and British Columbia should expect rain, freezing rain and sleet throughout the season.

Here’s what the Almanac says about the two Western Canadian regional zones:

The Prairies

If you live in the Prairies (Alberta to Manitoba), you’ll be basking in “snowy, not so cold” conditions.

Jack Burnett, managing editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, makes it clear that this still means cold.

“We say ‘Not so cold,’ but this just means that it will be like being in the fridge with the milk for five months instead of in the freezer with the ice cream,” he said. “And the door won’t be opening.”

Winter temperatures will be slightly higher than normal, on average, with above-normal precipitation. The coldest periods will occur in early January, mid-January through early February, and late February into early March. Snowfall will be below normal in the west and above normal elsewhere, with the snowiest periods in mid-November, mid-December, early January, early February, and from late March into early April. The prairies won’t experience winter’s last hurrah until early April.

Southern British Columbia

British Columbia may be more wet than white this winter, and it will bear the brunt of winter’s chill, with colder-than-average temperatures that include occasional face-freezing frigidity in January and February. The province will also have above-normal precipitation and below-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in mid-December and early January, from late January into early February, and in mid- and late February, with the snowiest periods in late December, early to mid-January and early February.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac uses a 200-year-old formula that takes into account factors like sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon and position of the planets. The forecasts are actually calculated years in advance and the publisher claims they do not change them just to appease readers.

What do you think? How much stock do you put in these predictions? Has this changed your attitude about how you’ll approach winter this year?

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