For the last several months, many of you have been emailing us, leaving comments on our articles, and asking us on our Facebook page, “What’s in store for the coming winter?” Now, at long last, the wait is over! The 2012 Canadian Farmers’ Almanac is on shelves, and our much-awaited long-range forecast for the coming year is no longer a secret. Last winter, the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac suggested that after the unusually mild and dry winter of 2009—10, Old Man Winter would stage a comeback and traditional winter weather would be a “reality” once again. In our long-range outlook, we predicted colder-than-normal winter temperatures for the eastern provinces and milder-than-normal conditions for the western provinces.
And, though winter got off to a bit of a slow start, that’s eventually how things panned out. In contrast to its balmy December, some eastern provinces, including Newfoundland, averaged 2.5°C below normal.
So what’s in store for the coming winter?
For the winter of 2011—12, the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting unusually cold and stormy weather. For some parts of the country that means a frigid climate; while for others, it’s lots of rain and snow.
This will be a winter of “clime and punishment.” We are forecasting the upcoming winter will be cold to very cold, from Alberta east across Saskatchewan and Manitoba into western Ontario. Meanwhile, we predict temperatures will average above normal for much of Nova Scotia and, possibly, southern New Brunswick. Near-normal temperatures are expected elsewhere. A very active storm track will bring copious precipitation through the Great Lakes into central and eastern Ontario, Quebec, and much of the Maritimes. Another active storm track over the Pacific Ocean will guide systems into southern and central British Columbia and western Alberta, giving them a wetter-than-normal winter.