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A 'polar coaster': The upcoming winter is shaping up to be 'bitterly cold'

Winter 2019-20 will be filled with so many ups and downs on the thermometer, The Farmer’s Almanac says it had no choice but to dub it the “Polar Coaster” Winter.

Arctic air could cause temperatures to drop as low as -40 C, The Farmer’s Almanac says

The 2019-2020 winter outlook released this week by The Farmer's Almanac is predicting "bitterly cold" conditions. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

This winter will be filled with so many ups and downs on the thermometer, The Farmer's Almanac says it had no choice but to dub it the "polar coaster" winter.

"Our long-range forecast is calling for yet another freezing, frigid, and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country," editor Peter Geiger wrote.

"If you remember last winter's freezing temperatures, you're going to want to be prepared."

The 2019-2020 winter outlook released this week is predicting that the worst of the "bitterly cold" conditions will affect areas east of the Rockies to Quebec and the Maritimes.

Temperatures to drop as low as  –40 C over the Prairies

The biggest drop — with the most free falling, frigid temperatures — is forecast to take hold from the Prairie provinces into the Great Lakes, and the coldest outbreak of the season is predicted to come during the final week of January into the beginning of February.

"During this time, the Arctic air could cause temperatures to drop as low as  –40 C over the Prairies," the publication said.

"As the freezing air blows across the Great Lakes, intense bursts of heavy snow showers and squalls could, in extreme cases, deposit perhaps 70 cm in just a single day, especially in the snowbelt of Ontario; the Strathroy area and the 402 corridor west of London, to the lee of Lake Huron, the Barrie area, and some of the highway 400 corridor."

Early or late spring?

The Farmer's Almanac says based on its long-range outlook, spring will be slow to start in 2020, with winter lingering across Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador.

It says occasional wet snow and unseasonably chilly conditions will hang on through March and into April.

Occasional wet snow and unseasonably chilly conditions will hang on through March and into April, The Farmer's Almanac says. (The Farmer's Almanac)

During the first week of April across the Great Lakes east into the Maritimes, there may be the threat of strong to severe weather, with some storms capable of spawning tornado activity for parts of Ontario, it added.

The publication says it has been using an ancient formula to forecast weather conditions as much as 16 months in advance with up to 85 per cent accuracy for more than 200 years. But scientists say predicting the weather includes a margin of unpredictability, which makes it difficult even  to do a five-day forecast.

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