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Long, cold winter ahead, pig spleen says

Posted on January 13, 2014 by Maple Creek

The pig spleen forecast is in!
Jeff Woodward has once again released his predictions of what the weather will bring this year, and he reports it’s going to be a long and cold end to winter.

The nephew of Tompkins’ renowned “pig spleen prognosticator” Gus Wickstrom, Woodward picked up on the family tradition after his uncle’s passing in 2007. The tradition involves dividing a pig spleen into six different sections with each representing a month, from January to June. As Woodward explained, abnormalities in the spleen indicate specific weather events.
The forecast for 2014 was completed in early December 2013 using several spleens from pigs at Earview Hutterite Colony south of Gull Lake and free-range pigs from the McCallum Ranch near Eastend.
Although the pig spleens show it will be a long and cold winter, Woodward said it won’t be as bad as last year.
“It will be colder than average, have more snow than average, and will linger longer than usual,” he said.  “There will once again be several days with rain mixed with snow making for some difficult driving conditions.  These rains on frozen roads will lead to icy conditions and highway closures.”
But there will be a significant difference between the weather south of the Trans-Canada Highway towards Eastend and north of the highway.
“The winter in Eastend and area will be significantly more mild with much less snow, particularly in January and February,” Woodward explained.
According to his predictions, late April and into May will not see a lot of precipitation. However, cold temperatures may delay seeding, with opportune times starting after May 18. Woodward noted one anomaly in the spleen on May 18 that will be significant.
“This date and the period between June 16-24 should be highlighted,” he said.
Check out what the pig spleen says is in store for the first half of 2014:

Winter will start out cold and will trend this way from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7. From Jan. 8 to about  Jan. 20, temperatures will start out above average and fall to  average on Jan. 21 when there will be a day of snow and possible rain. From Jan. 20 to the end of January, temperatures will stay average to above average until the end of the month. There will be snow between Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, in addition to the event on Jan. 21. After Jan. 21, snow will be more general through February and March.
Warmer temperatures at the end of January will disappear during the first week of February. This month will be the start of more regular moisture, with snow on Feb. 3 and a more significant event on Feb. 13. A small warming trend on Feb. 10 will be followed by -20 to -25 C temps for the middle of the month and a gradual warming towards the end of the month. Feb. 27 will see another snow event and temperatures will gradually improve into March. The groundhog should see his shadow as there will be at least six more weeks of winter.
The beginning of March will be generally cloudy with snow from the first to about March 5. There will be snow or snow/rain on March 8 and March 10. After March 11, winter will be on the decline until March 18 when there is a significant event that will hit the province. From mid March until March 27, temperatures should be well above average. Another rainfall event will occur between March 27 and April 2. After March 27, temperatures will be below average and the end of the month will be rather cold.
April will be unseasonably cold between April 1 and April 7 when temperatures will stabilize. Temperatures will be average from April 7 to April 15 and then will get cold again until April 21. From April 21 to the end of the month will see a warming trend. Precipitation will be on April 1 (carry over from March), April 7 and April 21. Both April 7 and 21 rain events will be at the start of a warming trend.
From May 1 to 18, temperatures will remain close to average with a slight cooling trend between these dates. Precipitation on May 18 will mark a rapid warming trend that will last for the rest of the month.
June will start off warm and mild through the first half of the month. Starting around June 16, there will be some precipitation and colder than normal temperatures peaking around June 24. The period between June 16 and 24 will see significant rainfall.
Jeff Woodward, PSP

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