As summer nears its end, several meteorologists are devising forecasts of fall and winter to give Canadians an idea of what to expect of the upcoming weather. For Ontario, the prediction is generally the same across multiple sources: the last two seasons of 2017 will bring much warmer temperatures than in years past.
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, winter temperatures will be above normal for Southern Ontario, with the coldest periods landing in mid-November, early and late December, early January and early to mid-February. Precipitation and snowfall is expected to be above normal in the east and below normal in the west, with late November, mid- to late December, and early to mid-March being the snowiest months.
Although the almanac is normally 80% accurate, meteorologists warn that its forecasts should be taken with a grain of salt. Unlike other weather sources, it is not confirmed whether or not the almanac uses trend data and climate models to formulate its forecasts. Its authors only use a "secret formula" that they claim "employs state-of-the-art technology and modern calculations from three scientific disciplines to make their long-term predictions: solar science, climatology and meteorology."
With five-day forecasts already being difficult enough to produce, the almanac's methodology is questionable, especially since the science behind long-term forecasting is still not well established.
However, the almanac may bear some reliable significance, as its weather predictions are somewhat in line with findings from Accuweather, which actually utilizes climate models and analyses of complex weather systems to make long-range, data-based forecasts.
According to Accuweather, Southern Ontario will have 20-degree weather throughout September, and double-digit or above-freezing temperatures from October to November:
One thing to note, however, is that Accuweather shows a majority of days that show colder temperatures than historical averages, which could demonstrate the possible inaccuracy of the almanac's forecasts.