Expect a 'baby alpaca' winter: Old Farmer's Almanac
Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:17PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:59PM EDT
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a slightly warmer, wetter winter than normal this year, with few surprises or major storms.
The 2018 Canadian edition of the centuries-old publication is forecasting mild, dry conditions in Western Canada, mild and snowy conditions through central Quebec and eastern Ontario, and mild and wet weather in Atlantic Canada this winter.
“It’ll be a little bit warmer than normal, a little bit wetter than normal, but only by about 4 millimetres (of snow),” Jack Burnett, managing editor of the almanac’s Canadian edition, told CTVNews.ca
Burnett once predicted the 2014-15 winter would be the "T. Rex of winters," but he says this year will not be nearly as distressing.
“This is more like a ‘baby alpaca curled up in the barn’ kind of winter,” he said.
Burnett says most Canadians can expect a white Christmas this year, with the snow likely to stick around into the first few weeks of March.
Springtime will bring above-normal temperatures in B.C., Yukon and the Northwest Territories and near or below normal temperatures for the rest of the country, the almanac predicts. Rainfall is expected to be below normal in eastern Ontario, southern B.C., Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and near or above normal elsewhere.
Summer will be cooler out east and above normal in the rest of the country, with rainfall above normal in most places except western Quebec, eastern Ontario And B.C., the almanac predicts.
The almanac is predicting above-normal temperatures and below or near normal precipitation for most of Canada in autumn of 2018. Parts of B.C. and Alberta are the only exception, with cooler temperatures and more rain expected in that area.
Old formula, new technology
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been predicting the weather for 225 years, based largely on what it calls a “secret formula” developed by founder Robert B. Thomas.
Burnett says the almanac’s predictions are accurate approximately 80 per cent of the time, although the last few years have been “really wacky.”
“We’ve been a little bit below 80 per cent but we’re trending back up,” he told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
He says that original weather prediction formula was based on many of the tools used by modern meteorologists, such as taking into account terrain, solar radiation and multi-year weather cycles. Those elements have now been rolled into a computer formula for predicting weather, with a few tweaks to account for climate change.
“We’re starting to incorporate some accommodation for warming into our ancient ways,” he said. “We still use the same method that we used in 1792, but it’s been computerized.”
He adds that the almanac is packed full of other tidbits of wisdom, folklore and everyday guidance, from gardening tips and recipes to funny 911 calls.
“It has something for everyone,” he said.