Weather watchers in Southern Saskatchewan can expect a colder than normal winter in 2017, punctuated by some big temperature swings, according to Jeff Woodward’s annual pig spleen forecast.
Woodward continues the tradition of pig-spleen weather predicting made popular by Gus Wickstrom, but Woodward has further elevated the popularity of the forecast by participating in a Pig Spleen Prognostication Party at The Artesian in Regina back in December.
Woodward’s current long range weather forecast is based on spleens from “indoor pigs” from the Ear View Hutterite Colony, plus “free range” pigs from the Hazlet area. In making his predictions, Woodward noted that the free range pigs had much smaller spleens and less fat on them than the indoor pig spleens, and fat deposits are what most of the predictions are based on.
The 2017 winter will be colder than normal with some really big temperature swings. The end of December will be nice and, just before the start of the New Year, temperatures will dip to below normal for the first half of January. Mid-month, temperatures will rebound with the potential of rain. Temperatures will fluctuate around normal until the end of January and then drop again for the month of February. March will start off cold and then improve mid-month when the worst of the cold will be over. April and May will hover around normal temperatures and then dip to below normal again at the end of May into June. June will be below average in general.
Significant fog events indicate the precipitation mid and end of January and mid and end of February/ Possibility of sleet and rain in January. Spring will be average until the end of May when it will be cold and damp again which is not ideal for farmers who might be late seeding. There will be above average soil moisture for seeding. There is potential for some localized flooding with the wet conditions all over the province.
The end of December will be nice. However, declining temperatures into January will result in real cold. The first part of January (January 1 to 10) will be cold to extremely cold, with high winds. This will last until the 15th or 16th when temperatures will rebound quickly for a short while. Unusually nice conditions will be experienced around January 17 when there could be sleet or rain events during positive temperatures. After about the 20th, temperatures will recede again to the end of the month. There will be precipitation on the 10th, 16th (possible rain), 24th and between the 25th and 29th.
The end of January will be colder than normal, but this won’t last too long and will improve to -10 range during the first week. After this, temperatures will dip to below average to the end of the month with some short reprieves during precipitation events. The end of the month will be cold with days of high winds.
Following the trend in February, temperatures will start off cold (-20) but will gradually get better during the first 10 days. Temperatures of -5 mid-month can be expected to improve to around freezing by the end. There will be some precipitation during the month, with significant precipitation at the end.
April will start off warm but have high winds at the start. Temperatures will remain above average until mid-month and then start to dip to below seasonal averages around the 17th or 18th. The end of April will be slightly below average with temperatures around +6.
May will start off below average but will rebound to very nice temperatures mid-month with temperatures reaching +15. High winds again at the start of May with some rain during the first week. This will end around the 20th when temperatures will drop to below average to the end of May and into June.
Temperatures in June will be below average in general. Starting off with temperatures around +8 and a rain or more solid precipitation. Temperatures will rebound somewhat during the first half but remain below normal to the end of the month. Temperatures around 14 to 17 can be expected. Most of the precipitation will be concentrated at the start of the month and there should be no extreme winds.