With temperatures this week in the 30's for southern Manitoba, it may be hard to think about winter and snow. However, The Old Farmer's Almanac has just released its Canadian edition, which includes our forecast for the upcoming winter.
"I don't know how to break this to you," says Managing Editor Jack Burnett. "But we're saying that it's a chilly prediction."
Burnett uses the term "sneaky cold," to describe what we are in store for this winter. He notes the early stages of winter look to be frigid and then we might get lulled to sleep before the next bout of snow and cold. And, Burnett says that seems to be the flavour of our winter.
But, the start of anything resembling winter is still a couple of months away. In fact, Burnett says it will be November before southern Manitoba sees its first snow. If he had to guess, Burnett says it will be around November 16th or 17th.
According to Burnett, this winter will be colder than normal for the southern half of the province with above average precipitation, but normal amounts of snow. He explains, what that means is we could see more sleet and freezing rain this winter.
He explains the coldest parts of winter will be mid-November to the first week of December, the first and last weeks of January and then the last week of February.
"It kind of looks like the really deep cold is going to kind of subside by the time we get to March," notes Burnett. "There's still going to be cold spots in March and even in April. But, we look for the real hardcore stuff to kind of finish off by the end of February."
As for the snowiest portions of winter, Burnett says that looks to be the end of November, mid to late December and then the end of January. That means, the last week of November and the last week of January should be both cold and snowy.
Burnett says at The Old Farmer's Almanac, they do not typically forecast specific weather events for specific days, unless there are extreme indicators. Well, he notes all indications are that southern Manitoba will see a big snow storm on December 12th and 13th.
Meanwhile, Burnett says our weather in the months leading up to winter will be all over the map. He notes September will average out to be a little cooler and wetter than normal. But then October will be warmer than normal with average amounts of rain.
Looking ahead to the spring and summer of 2023, Burnett says spring looks to be a little warmer and wetter than normal, while summer will be warmer and drier than an average year.
When it comes to making forecasts, Burnett says they rely on a recipe that was first used by Robert B. Thomas in 1792. Burnett says when Thomas first started making weather forecasts he took three things into consideration. The first factor was meteorology, which is the localized weather phenomenon that is caused by factors such as mountains, lakes or localized winds.
The second factor was climatology, which is long-term weather patterns for a particular area. And the third factor was solar science. Burnett says through the use of computers, they can find a pattern in history where the weather trends then resemble patterns today. Then, by learning what happened next in history, they can determine what is most likely to happen in our future.
Burnett says their forecasts are completed up to two years in advance.