Ontario winter will be cold and stormy: Farmers’ Almanac

As hard as it is to fathom cold and snow on a hot summer’s day, Canadians might want to brace themselves for predictions out of the Farmer’s Almanac.

According to their report, provinces like Ontario and Quebec will see a “decent” amount of snow fall between January 20 to 23, with prediction of “stormy” conditions. The Prairie provinces are expected to be hit the hardest, it says.

As for temperatures, Farmer’s Almanac says -40 C may become a reality for Canadians in the east with “bouts of heavy snow and rain.”

Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips says the ocean water temperatures in the Pacific are cooler than normal, and give insight into what winter we should expect.

There are two episodes in the Pacific, says Phillips, a warm episode called El Niño and a cold episode called La Niña.

Phillips says the two past winters were La Niña and this model suggests we’re getting another cold episode. “That’s three in a row, which is very unusual. I think it’s happened once maybe in the last 60 years,” says Phillips.

For Toronto, Phillips says because the city far from the Pacific Ocean, this prediction is more accurate for Western Canada.

What we can bank on is more snow for Toronto, says Phillips, but not as much as last year. “Colder than normal winter means you get more arctic air, and there’s a lot less moisture with arctic air, so you get the snow days, but you don’t get a lot of snow,” says Phillips.

Phillips says last winter snowfall in the Toronto area amounted to 170 cm of snow or 56 per cent more compared to an average of 110 cm. The snow also came towards the end in January not at the beginning of winter, notes Phillips. “This year we could have snow evenly distributed,” adds Phillips.

According to Phillips, this upcoming winter will be a struggle between the cold air from the north and the warm air from the south.

“We might see a little bit more freezing rain,” says Phillips.

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