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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Canadian Predictions Ring True: Canadian Farmers’ Almanac Accuracy

Canadian Predictions Ring True: Canadian Farmers’ Almanac Accuracy

When we announced our winter outlook in August 2007, it seemed we were out on a limb, all by ourselves. Most other long-range forecasts for the impending winter season were predicting mostly above-normal temperatures nationwide, with no prolonged spells of cold weather, and
the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, in contrast, predicted that it would be a “two-faced” winter, with warm and dry extremes balancing extremes of cold and wet. Looking at the 2007—2008 winter summary compiled by Environment Canada, that suggestion certainly seems to been verified.

The national average temperature for the winter of 2007-2008 was only 0.5 degree C above normal, which in many ways was a dramatic cool-down from two years ago when Canada experienced its warmest winter — 3.9 degrees C above normal — since nationwide records began in 1948. Many forecasters perhaps were compelled to follow the trends of recent years and continued to suggest unusually balmy winter temperatures would persist. That however was not the case.

The areas that were 1 degree C or warmer were: northeast B.C.; northwest Alberta; most of Yukon, and the Northwest Territories; western and northern Nunavut; almost all of Ontario; and western Quebec. One area in northern Yukon and Northwest Territories experienced temperatures more than three degrees Celsius above normal.

In contrast, however, an area covering Newfoundland and Labrador, northern Quebec and eastern Nunavut experienced a cooler than normal winter with some areas experiencing temperatures more than 2 degrees C below normal.

Overall, Canada experienced its twenty-fourth wettest winter in 2007-2008, out of the 61-years of record, 0.5% above normal. Those regions that were more than 40% wetter than normal include: northern Northwest and Nunavut Territories; northeastern Manitoba; northwestern Quebec; and southern Ontario. Northern and southern Alberta; southern Manitoba; northern Ontario; western Northwest Territories; and eastern Nunavut all experienced at least 40% less precipitation this winter.

In terms of snow, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick certainly received more than their fair share. In other parts of the country, snowfall totals for the winter came in below seasonal norms. This was especially true for central Ontario around Hearst and Kapuskasing; southwestern Manitoba from Winnipegosis south to Dauphin and Minnedosa and southern Alberta including the Calgary area.

To be sure, this was a winter with two faces!

Learn more about our accuracy and what our forecasts fortell for Canada this winter.

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 1910, 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.