'Snow train' expected to bring storms across much of Canada this winter

·3 min read
Winter weather forecast map for Canada (Old Farmer’s Almanac)
Winter weather forecast map for Canada (Old Farmer’s Almanac)

As the end of the summer season approaches, one of the most well-known weather predictors is ready to tell you what winter temperatures and snowfall will look like this year.

“The upcoming winter forecast for Canada has a lot of white in it,” Jack Burnett, managing editor of the Old Farmer’s Almanac told Yahoo Canada. “The main kind of feature is what we are calling a snow train.”

“We expect basically to start out on the tracks in December and just be a series of storms that chug across the prairies, Ontario and into Quebec...into early March.”

Burnett specified that it won’t be consistent storms throughout these months, there will be breaks, but the Almanac is predicting more snow than normal.

Much of the Maritimes will be snowy as well, but it will also be particularly windy. Northern Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador, won’t be at cold but these areas are still expected to be quite stormy.

The northern Prairies, B.C. and the territories will see temperatures described by Burnett as “really cold, colder than normal” with a large amount of snow in the Yukon.

“Sometimes we will see sections of Canada or the U.S. that will be not quite so cold as normal and with the exception of northern Quebec to a slight degree, we really don't have any colours other than blue for cold and white for snow on the entire Canadian map,” Burnett said.

Summer 2021 weather map for Canada (Old Farmer’s Almanac)
Summer 2021 weather map for Canada (Old Farmer’s Almanac)

Weather predictions for 2021

The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s long-range forecast bring us all the way to 2021, with temperatures expected to be above normal in the Prairies, into the territories, in the spring but near to below normal across much of the rest of the country.

The Almanac is expecting summer 2021 temperatures be cooler than normal in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., but warmer than normal everywhere else. Across the much of the country, Canadians can expect “abundant” rainfall.

Next year’s fall season is predicted to include significant precipitation in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, with the cooler temperatures sticking around Quebec and Ontario.

‘Why are we so accurate? Our answer is, we don't know’

The Old Farmer’s Almanac boasts 80 per cent accuracy with their long-range forecasting, but they still aren’t exactly sure why it works so well.

The Almanac’s forecast is developed using a method that was established in 1792 by founder Robert B. Thomas.

Thomas considered three factors when we was crafting his forecast. The first component is climatology and long-range weather trends in an area, the second is meteorology and how air masses move, and the third is solar activity and how sunspots impact the weather.

Burnett indicated that these days, the Almanac spends a significant amount of time looking for weather patterns in the present that resemble patterns in the past.

A few years ago the Old Farmer’s Almanac adjusted its “recipe” for forecasting to include the impact climate change has had on the weather.

“We started to introduce little tweaks to our ancient methods according to what we found out,” Burnett said. “We try to stay abreast of any changes and so far so good.”

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