LEWISTON, ME – The coming winter is expected to be a ‘polar coaster,’ according to the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac for the year 2020.

“We expect yet another wild ride this winter,” said Pete Geiger, Philom., editor of the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, who added that there would be “extreme temperatures swings and some hefty snowfalls.”

This almanac began publication in 1818 as a farmer-oriented weather prediction guide. It factors sunspots and moon phases into a secret mathematical formula that can offer weather predictions up to two years in advance. Only one person knows the formula.

Mr. Geiger took over editing duties for the publication in 1995 and his father was the editor before him, assuming his post in 1935. In its 203 editions, only seven people have predicted the weather.

“Areas east of the Rockies to Quebec may get the worst of the bitterly cold conditions. The most frigid temperatures will be found from the prairie provinces into the Great Lakes,” states the almanac.

The coldest spell of the winter will be at the end of January into early February, with arctic air causing temperatures as low as -40°C in the prairies. Arctic air masses blowing across the Great Lakes could cause intense snow squalls capable of depositing as much as 70 cm of snow in a single day in regions of the snowbelt.

On the precipitation side, above-average snowfall is expected through the winter. The first part of January especially has the potential for a major storm system that will bring waves of heavy precipitation.

Another heavy storm is expected to hit the western Great Lakes in the third week of January, which will also drag down the cold arctic air. Next spring will bring unseasonable chilliness and bouts of wet snow through March and April. Next summer is expected to be above normal and well-above normal on the temperature scale, with average precipitation.

This year’s almanac begins its weekly forecasts in September. Rainy and cool are the dominant themes for the month, with this year’s first frost predicted for Sudbury on September 25. Much of October is also expected to be wet, however a fair Thanksgiving and dry Halloween are expected to be in store. 

The first mention of snow in Ontario is within an intensifying storm system which promises heavy rain or wet snow and frigid cold in the range of November 8 to 11. The forecast calls for a ‘Winterlude’ in the range of December 8 to 11 and then unseasonal mildness. Christmas week is expected to bring rain and wet snow.

Very cold, frigidly cold and then bitterly cold air develops in the latter half of January, with cold around the Great Lakes and varying amounts of precipitation in February. March follows a similar track to February with clearing skies to close the month.

Sharp cold fronts will slice into April with an accompanying risk of severe weather. Storms in Ontario could bring hail, damaging winds and possibly a funnel cloud or tornado. This, in contrast to the straightforward prediction for April 4 to 7: “Pleasant.”

The almanac, as usual, is full of ‘life hacks,’ home remedies and information about astronomy and peak fishing times. Its 120 pages contain sections of trivia, recipes and other materials that could be enjoyed when sheltering indoors from the promised rough winter.

Full details about the regional forecasts for Ontario and other places across Canada are available on a monthly basis for free at FarmersAlmanac.com. The full print version of the almanac is also available for order at the website and many online retailers. There is a separate edition for Canada, with the main publication being US-focused.