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Canada’s 2021 Extended Winter Forecast: A Winter Divided

Every year since 1818, we have provided long-range weather predictions that help you plan ahead. These forecasts are based on a mathematical and astronomical formula that is guided by the rules set forth by our founding editor. This formula has been altered slightly over the years, but it remains very much the same as the one our original editor, David Young, created for accurately predicting the weather up to two years in advance.

Traditionally, people who follow our forecasts closely say that their accuracy runs in the neighborhood of 75% to 80%. But, we remind everyone that our predictions are long-range and are meant to give you a good idea of what might come your way in the next year. We also bow to Mother Nature, who loves to throw us a curve ball or two (such as this past winter’s abnormal Arctic Oscillation).

However, we always stand by our predictions, just as we have for over two centuries. So it is with great anticipation that we release our official extended weather forecast for the upcoming winter of 2020-2021.

Winter 2020-21

The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac has an unusual forecast this year, calling it “The Winter of the Great Divide: Wet, white, and wild in the West, everything crazy in the East.”

Winter of the Great Divide Banner by Farmers' Almanac.

“Based on our time-tested weather formula, the forecast for the upcoming winter looks a lot different from last year, quite divided with some very intense cold snaps and snowfall.” —Editor Peter Geiger, Philom.

From Mild to Wild

Cityscape of Toronto behind a lake during the winter.

According to the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac‘s long-range outlook, the eastern provinces including Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, will see unseasonably mild conditions for much of the winter season.

Near normal temperatures will predominate across Quebec west to central Ontario. In these areas, Mother Nature will mix intervals of unseasonably mild temperatures with periodic shots of bitter cold; average it out and it comes out normal.

Map of 2020-2021 Canada Winter Extended Forecast by the Farmers' Almanac.
2020-2021 CA Winter Extended Forecast

In contrast, farther west, over western Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and eastern British Columbia will experience much colder than normal winter temperatures. Near normal temperatures are forecast near the Pacific coast of British Columbia.

Snow Way Out

If you like snow, then you should head out to western Quebec and Ontario, where snowier-than-normal conditions are forecast. In addition, above-normal snow is expected over the interior of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

An active storm (thanks to incoming storms from the Pacific) will bring a heavier than normal dose of rain to western British Columbia.

Snowboarder slides down a snow hillside during a clear day.
If you’re a fan of snow, head to the mountains for some great skiing.

We are red-flagging the second week of January over Ontario and Quebec for a possible heavy snowfall with a wintry mix for the Maritimes, and another for the second week of February for possible blizzard conditions in the Maritimes.

Find out how cold it will be where you live! Check our zone-by-zone forecast here!

Spring Snows?

Young girl walks through a blizzard.

The final week of March for much of the eastern half of the country looks stormy, with a significant late-season snowfall blowing into Ontario and Quebec on through the Maritimes. Near-normal winter precipitation will cover the rest of the country.

P.S. Check out our United States Extended Forecast too!

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