Will winter really be as bad as they say for the Sault this year?


Today marks the last full day of Summer, it officially turns Autumn on Thursday morning at around 10:20am.

After enjoying a long hot Summer will Sault Ste. Marie face a long cold winter?

If you pay attention to the Farmer’s Almanac, the answer appears to be yes. They are predicting an early winter and a very cold and snowy one to boot.  Now, to put this in perspective, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted a cold and snowy winter last year too and we didn’t see anything resembling that until February.  Last year Sault Ste. Marie didn’t receive substantial snowfall until December 27th – that’s when the snow started to stick around. This year we may not be as lucky.

Before we get to the nitty gritty on the winter, the Autumn season seems to be coming in above seasonal temperature-wise through to end of November and much below precipitation is forecast for the same period. Lake temperatures are higher than normal and that could lead to above normal snowfall come late December.

Right now, temperatures are forecast to stay above freezing until the first week of December, but even then those “freezing” temperatures will be slightly above where we’re normally at for December.

The drought conditions felt in Ontario this past Summer and Spring will result in less than breathtaking colours and a much shorter season for fall foliage.

Now to Winter.

National forecasters are saying our winter weather will be mostly influenced by “La Niña” that’s the  cool counterpart to El Niño, characterized by unusually low ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.

The LaNina will cause the jet stream to rise in the west and fall in the east. That spells cooler air. Depending on how strong the La Nina will get (some are saying it won’t be as strong as the El Nino was last winter) but a warm blob of air positioned over the pacific northwest could also influence weather patterns, meaning we could be in for a spell of bitterly cold weather come January and into February. Temperatures overnight could land in the -30 to -40c . With cold air being forced over the extreme warmth of the water in the Great Lakes could leave us with above normal snowfall for the bulk of the winter. Expect to see heavy snow showers develop early in the new year and persist through most of the month into February. Snow could start to arrive much earlier though, like the first week in December.

So, will Sault Ste. Marie see harsher winter conditions than last year? all things are pointing to a big yes on that front.

Overall Winter will be colder than normal from mid-December to the end of January. Snow could start as early as late October but won’t stick until end of November but most likely early to mid-December, after that keep the snowblower handy and ready to go.



  1. No one has a clue until it happens.
    Everyone was afraid of a brutal winter last year and it was a breeze.
    Weather forecasting months ahead of time is far from accurate.

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