Don't believe the hype: Toronto is going to have an average winter this year

Oct 28 2016, 4:33 pm

There’s good news and bad news.

Per tradition, let’s start with the bad: The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a coast-to-coast ice age for winter 2017 based on a centuries-old mathematical and astronomical secret formula.

Now the good: The Farmer’s Almanac is to meteorology what astrology is to astronomy, as one writer puts it, which means you can duly dismiss its weather forecasts for the most part.

Is KFC not proof enough that basis on a “secret formula” isn’t a recipe for quality?

Ok, enough with the analogies. Back to the weather.

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Toronto will be mostly fine throughout November, December, January and February. This winter will essentially be the outcome of putting the last 30 winters into a blender and pouring the result over the city of Toronto.

Which is to say, it’ll be literally average.

“We expect that this year will bring a return to more classic Canadian winter season from the Rockies to Atlantic Canada, with only BC expected to see above normal temperatures for the winter as a whole,” writes The Weather Network in its Winter 2016/2017 preview.

December will be very mild, while a pesky jet stream pattern will introduce bursts of Arctic Air to everywhere that isn’t BC in the New Year. While it won’t be Polar Vortex circa early 2014 sh*t, you should probably book your vacations later in the season.


A look at Environment Canada’s precipitation forecast reveals just how incredibly average winter will be. There’s a 40% chance Toronto will see above normal precipitation, 40% chance it will be near normal, and 40% chance it will be below normal. Those probabilities should be enough to have you throw expectations right out the window, which you can probably leave open until January.


So there you have it: Toronto will have a winter this year.

Lloyd BraunLloyd Braun

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