As the cold creeps closer and closer, the Farmers Almanac has released its forecast for the 2023-24 winter season.

The forecast covers all of North America, with forecasts usually being broken down by region.

For this winter, the forecast has put the prairies at an average amount of snowfall with very cold conditions.

Map of winter forecast in Canada.

Editor Peter Geiger explains just what they're now predicting.

"We think it'll be a cold winter fair amount of snow. In the Prairies, we talked about Snow 8th to the 11th of November. We talked about snow three times in December. We talked about a big storm, January 8th to the 11th, and the 1st to the 3rd of February."

“So, they're going to be a significant number of storms. I think it'll be average snowfall, but I think it will be colder than normal. I don't know that it would be dramatically colder than normal, but I think it would be considered to be a cold winter for you.”

The method that they use to predict the weather is the same as when the Farmer's Almanac started issuing forecasts over 200 years ago.

“The Almanac first started in 1818, so back in that in that time period, our editor wanted to predict the weather for farmers. So, he developed a mathematical formula that gets applied to sunspot activity, planet position, the effect the moon has on the Earth, and all of those things. The formula allows us to do our weather two years in advance. There are times when there's a very strong El Nino or La Nina that's very strong that could make things a little different than what we're calling for but basically, we have a good track record.”

Those El Ninos and El Ninas can sometimes have a pronounced effect on the weather, but Geiger says he's untroubled so far.

Geiger says that even though some people have questioned the efficacy of the Farmer's Almanac, he remains confident in their predictions.

"I think if anything, our success has been, in 207 years we've had only seven people do the weather. Initially, it was started in New Jersey and then as the United States expanded and then as we started doing weather for Canada, obviously the person doing that weather has to make adjustments. I would say it's been fairly consistent in the way in which the weather has put together over the many years and certainly in recent years as well.”