'Freezing, frigid and frosty': Farmers' Almanac forecasts a harsh winter
Canadians are advised to brace for a ‘polar coaster’ winter if the latest prediction from the Farmers' Almanac is to be believed.
The new edition of the 203-year-old publication reveals its forecast for the winter ahead – and the outlook is bitterly cold.
The almanac sees areas east of the Rockies to Quebec and the Maritimes bear the brunt of the cold conditions and areas from the Prairie provinces into the Great Lakes to be the most frigid.
“We expect yet another wild ride this winter,” said almanac editor Pete Geiger in a press release, “with extreme temperatures swings and some hefty snowfalls.”
The coldest outbreaks in late January into early February are forecast to hit those in the Prairies, with the almanac warning that very cold “Arctic air could cause temperatures to drop as low as -40 C.”
It also suggests this cold blast will bring intense bursts of heavy snow, especially in the snowbelt area of Ontario.
“The Maritimes will be wet and white and cold,” Geiger added.
British Columbia is forecast to see a milder time, with near-normal winter temperatures and precipitation predicted.
Across the country, January looks to be especially stormy with frequent bouts of heavy precipitation, along with strong and gusty winds.
“The middle part of Canada is going to get whacked. January in particular, there’s a spell in there where there’s some storms that are maybe 60 centimetres,” Geiger said.
“It’s going to be a very cold winter with some interludes. There’s a lot of storms in there.”
The almanac predicts worse than normal winter precipitation over much of Canada.
“Polar coaster means there’s going to be some warm spells and some cold spells,” Geiger told CTV News Channel.
“Particularly when you look in December, we use the word ‘winterlude,’ which means there’s already been some snow but now there’s going to be a break."
Spring will also be a little late in 2020, Geiger said, though not as late as it was in 2019.
“We’ll get well through April and it will still be winter-ish,” he said.
Geiger explained that the almanac uses a formula for its forecasts, developed in the 1800s when its first editor was a mathematician.
“Over the course of 203 years we’ve had only seven prognosticators,” Geiger said.
“Sunspot activity… the effect the moon has on the earth, all of that with the formula allows us to do it (forecast) two years in advance.
“Does it mean I’m going to be 100 per cent accurate? No. But it does mean that I’m going to get the gist of what the winter is and if you get the almanac… you’re going to be able to see what storms are coming and when we call for it.”