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Will Winter Return to Canada?

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This forecast covers Canada. Click here for our U.S. forecast.

After a year of unprecedented warmth, the great debate over whether or not Old Man Winter will return with a vengeance is on.

Last winter much of Canada experienced yet another unseasonably warm season. Some locations in far northern Canada saw temperatures approaching an incredible 10° C above normal. This summer has also been a hot one with some areas experience less than normal rainfall.

Fortunately, the new 2013 Canadian Farmers’ Almanac hits store shelves this month and promises on its cover to answer whether or not the warm, dry trend will continue, or if winter will stage a comeback.

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According to this favored long-range weather publication, winter will return to some — but not all — areas.
It will be a “winter of contraries” shares editor Peter Geiger, Philom, adding, “It’s like Old Man Winter is cutting the country in half. The eastern half of Canada will see plenty of cold and snow. The western half will experience relatively warm and dry conditions.”

According to the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, areas from Alberta and Saskatchewan east into the Maritimes will see a colder than normal winter with many locations experiencing above normal precipitation. But for British Columbia — chiefly those areas west and south of the Rocky Mountains — the overall winter will be milder and drier than normal.

While some may question where these weather predictions come from, the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac weather forecasts are based on an unbiased mathematical and astronomical formula that dates back to 1818.

“We admit that last winter’s forecasts weren’t as dead-on as we would have liked, but as the old saying goes, ‘The Almanac maker predicts the weather, but another Maker makes the weather,’ ” reflects Geiger, adding “Weather, no matter what tools or computer systems you use to predict it, is not an exact science. Many sources were thrown off last year, but we are confident in our formula and are happy to provide our readers with a long-range outlook that is very accurate.”

Fans of the Almanac say its famous long-range forecast is accurate between 80 and 85 percent of the time.

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1 Torrie Laviola { 01.08.16 at 9:20 am }

Thank you for the link, and for allowing me a difference of opinion.

2 Ashton St.Pierre { 09.25.13 at 7:09 pm }

If we were to melt the ice caps,and flatten a lot of the mountains both the weather and climate would improve.I wish to contribute to this?


3 lindalouise { 03.20.13 at 11:07 am }

I have seen an 2ants so far an dim in ontario

4 Nic { 02.02.13 at 10:00 am }

I am confirming a NASTY winter out here in Saskatchewan. Minus 30 to minus 45 is not uncommon these days. Not to mention all the ice due to some occasional roller coaster temps as we’ve also gone from minus 30 to minus 3 in a day. It usually stays at the rock bottom temps though for long stretches. Too cold even for a home grown Saskatchewanian.

5 jim bob { 12.26.12 at 10:17 am }

ya s r all crazy on the inside

6 Tina { 12.19.12 at 1:16 pm }

I live in the Sunny (more like rainy) Okanagan in BC. So fair this fall and winter it has been mild but very wet. We have a couple of inches of snow but the ground is so wet from all the rain that we are one big swamp. I wish we could get some sunny and cold and stay that way so we can dry up here.

7 donna { 12.16.12 at 8:50 am }

would love snow for christmas in southern ontario, so sick of rain!!

8 wanda { 12.04.12 at 1:32 am }

this is December 4th 2012 and at 1.29 am it is mild and rain they say mayby thunderstorms
this has been weather so far even October November hope the warm weather hangs around i live in Espanola Ontario just 45 miles from Sudbury

9 Anahid { 11.30.12 at 9:42 am }

Well all I can say its not yet December and here in Saskatchewan its colder than normal and we have had a ton of snow this November, with more coming. You may have had a difficult prediction ratio lately, but you are back on track!

10 Linda Hart { 11.28.12 at 7:41 pm }

I live in Fort Erie , Ontario, Canada and we would like some snow here this year also please and thank you

11 foothills { 11.28.12 at 11:23 am }

cut the country in half… Alberta and the east us the half that have cold and BC warm…. in what world is that half…. if you can’t figure out how much land is in Canada how are you supposed to predict the weather. it’s fun to look at. but I dont go by it. it’s been wrong for the last 2 years.

12 Jaime McLeod { 11.27.12 at 5:23 pm }

Ken – There are many species of fuzzy caterpillars. All black means it is not a true woolly bear, but another species entirely. The lore is that the narrower the brown band is, the worse the winter will be.

13 Ken Cox { 11.27.12 at 3:39 pm }

I noticed this fall that the wooly caterpillar was all black, saw very few this year, could find no wooly with a red brown band. What is the myth about this caterpillar and the weather?, was there a reason for not having a band. ( from Central Ontario)

14 Dan { 11.21.12 at 11:22 am }

I hope Ottawa gets a tonne of snow. Is it possible please!!!

15 aidan { 11.17.12 at 12:50 pm }

so os cape breton gonna get ALOT of snow cuz i really want some:)

16 Johnathan { 11.16.12 at 3:40 pm }

Farmers Almanac sucked again last year..Drier and milder in southern BC this year?..I’m getting my snow tires ready.

17 Linda bryan { 11.14.12 at 10:07 am }

Hi I’m from barrie Ontario and I hope we don’t get much snow at least on the roads

18 Melodey Price { 11.06.12 at 5:08 pm }

Hi, I live in the Cascade Mountains at Manning Park , BC 1200m and southern BC last year had lots of snow – perhaps more or just the same as the winter of 96/97 – It was an awesome ski and sled year . Hopefully the Southern half of BC gets the same amount of snow again . It was awesome

19 Patricia McLaughlin { 10.29.12 at 6:44 pm }

I’m from Hamilton Ontario and last winter sucked. Bought all the necessary clothes, boots and winter gear and didn’t need a thing. I hope and pray that we have lots and lots of snow espeically starting December 1st. Would like to see a white wintery Christmas season. Who wants to go and get a christmas tree at the tree farm in the rain. That’s not the way it should be.

20 Kristina { 10.23.12 at 12:49 am }

Since last year’s winter was not all that bad, with the unusual season and hardly no snow. I am actually looking forward to this winter. I love when there is a lot of snow, no windchill, and like -10. Winter wonderland….

21 bigcanuck { 10.19.12 at 5:50 pm }

great lakes are warm due to our extended hot summer (thanks to the winds carrying the Gulf humidity), thus we can say a good dump of snow could be in the forecase. It will be warmer winter. Plus I also postulate, what effects of the ash from the Volcanoes effect the upper weather streams.

22 Diane { 10.18.12 at 5:53 pm } everyone out there I’m from Chelmsford Ont Canada I’m wishing
very very hard for a repeat of last year , Hey there can you help.
Thanks, By the way just love Farmer’s Almanac. By now……..

23 IVANA BOTTINI { 10.18.12 at 8:03 am }

Hi from Mississauga – Ontario. Im observing for a few weeks already that many birds are gone looking for ” a warmer weather” others are visiting my backyard where they can find good seeds and fresh water to survive the Winter 2012-2013. This change it showed me that we need to be ready to welcome our “Old Friend Winter” my Golden Retriever and I are very happy to see our back yard white and to have the chance to walk over a frozen lake or go hiking. Im from South America and many people said to me that Im crazy ! Well I always answered them that they chose the wrong country to live and they are free to go back where they come from LoL

24 Kevin { 10.14.12 at 6:05 pm }

what a load !!!

25 Michael { 10.10.12 at 6:33 pm }

The west coast will be an ice box. Just like 2005 and 2009.
The streets of Vancouver in 2009 were littered with abandoned
cars and even a bus. The side of the street had cars encapsulated
in ice from the plow clearing the streets. This year is going to be
the worst. I see it getting 30*c below for at least 2 weeks in the
Fraser Valley area asside form below 0 temperatures once
winter starts. Hold on to your hats its going to be a cold one.

26 lin { 09.15.12 at 9:46 pm }

yes i would like to know as well, can you clarify about manitoba? text says cold but yet the map says milder then normal?

27 sally { 09.13.12 at 10:44 am }

why can I not get a report on northern ontario we are people too and need to know just as much as the southern and western provinces anything north of north bay to
ontario/ manitoba border would be very helpfull

28 Mikeyb { 09.08.12 at 6:15 pm }

I was talking to a farmer a while back and he told me that his farming buddies will not be selling their hay or straw this year as it will be one winter that brings back childhood memories.

29 steve { 09.06.12 at 8:50 pm }

I seen a lot of snow over the yrs an I,m from the northeast an I do believe this winter will be a nasty one so everyone get their snow blowers ready an the shovels ,salt etc cause your going to need it so get Ready… As I see it the fog we had in Aug total of 9 fogs which means 9 snowstorms , the acorns are falling early plus the bees are bad that tells me this winter is a NASTY ONE ,,,,,,, Steve

30 Marilyn Douglas { 09.02.12 at 9:02 pm }

Considering that all of the scientists are saying that the Solar Flair will cause damage to the earth in either November of December 11 2012 and that some of us may not be here I don’t know what all of the predictions are even for.

31 dont believe it . the west coast will get snow this winter. i belive the oppsite { 08.31.12 at 2:07 am }

Don’t believe it. I think the west coast will be cold and snowy. Your wrong farmers. Again as usual.

32 IVANA BOTTINI { 08.29.12 at 10:30 pm }

Hi it s true nothing can be perfect specially when you announced how Winter Season is gonna be . Nature can give us a Big Surprise. By the way how Ontario is My Golden Retriever and I would like the real Canadian Winter to have a lots of Fun.

33 weathergeek { 08.29.12 at 9:16 am }

This is a very confusing article. You say you are dividing the country in half but then say from Alberta and Saskatchewan east will be cold and stormy. BC will be warm. In what universe is that cutting the country in half? Also your map shows the opposite of the text. Please clarify.

34 RONALD MOLLISON { 08.28.12 at 9:49 pm }


35 Snow monster { 08.27.12 at 5:26 pm }

If I understand correctly, it should be cold and snowy for southern Quebec?

36 Jaime McLeod { 08.29.12 at 10:45 am }

whiteout and weathergeek – Neither the text nor the map say “warm” for either BC or the Prairies. It says “milder.” Milder is a relative assessment. Weather can be milder than normal in an area and still be quite chilly.

37 whiteout { 08.27.12 at 3:53 pm }

Can you explain why the map says chilly for BC, but the text calls for warmth?
The map says warm for the prairies, but the text says cold?

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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