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Canada’s Winter 2009 – 2010 – What Happened?

Canada’s Winter 2009 – 2010 – What Happened?

From the balmy Arctic, to the snowless western fields, to the open waters of the St. Lawrence, the winter of 2009—2010 was the warmest and driest on Canadian record. We had forecasted a nationwide temperature pattern that would resemble an “Ice-cold Sandwich,” with unseasonably cold temperatures predominating mostly over the middle of the country, while, like the bread of a sandwich, there would be two regions that would average closer to normal–the West Coast and the East Coast. But no one expected what actually transpired!!

Beyond Shocking–Crazy Warm

Based on data compiled by Environment Canada, the national average temperature for the winter of 2009—2010 was 4.0°C above normal, which makes this the warmest winter since nationwide records began in 1948. The previous record was 2005—2006, which was 3.9°C above normal. All of the country, except for a small area of the southern Prairies, was above normal, with some areas of the Arctic and northern Quebec more than 6°C above normal.  As predicted in the 2010 Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, only a few areas of Saskatchewan and northern prairies saw anything close to winter’s true fury this past year.

This strange winter weather was caused by the potent global El Niño system that took hold during the summer of 2009 and ended during this past summer. During El Niño years, strong jet stream winds carry cold air further south than normal, causing typically cold areas, such as Canada and the northern United States, to see warmer, drier winter conditions than normal, while generally warmer areas experience colder, wetter conditions than normal.

So what’s in store for the upcoming winter? Be sure to consult the new 2011 Canadian Farmers’ Almanac now in stores and online. Check your regions day to day forecasts here, and check out this site next week when we reveal what the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac is predicting for the winter of 2010/11.

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.