Going into this, the sixth year of doing our winter weather forecast for Ontario snowmobilers, I admit I’m struggling to put it together. Why? Well, as many of you are aware, the past few winters have been tough on snowmobilers. You can imagine the blasts I’ve taken when my predictions haven’t exactly aligned with a rider’s expectations or hopes. Even when all the science and age-old wisdom pointed towards the perfect sledding season, I’ve been met with little consistency and dependability on the part of Old Man Winter. It seems we can no longer count on the “good ole-fashioned Canadian Winter” to take care of the entire province of Ontario. Nevertheless, another riding season is just around the corner.
To be a snowmobiler you need to have hope. You have to be confident enough to go ahead and get your machine shined up, purchase that new piece of gear, buy the permit, and book in advance that trip of a lifetime. Otherwise, you could be left watching from the sidelines as the most exciting time of the year rolls by without you.
As with previous chronicles, the goal of this article is to sift out the slushy irrelevant information and provide you with only the best of the best. Again this year, I’ve researched several different sources to support my winter prediction and to give you insight into the happenings in your part of Ontario.
After a Summer Like this
This past summer has been one of sun, heat, and fire, a sharp contrast to the summer of 2017 which was dubbed “The Summer The Sun Forgot,” where precipitation records were broken across the province. The summer of 2018 will go down as one of the best for boating, swimming, and working on your tan. It will also be remembered as one of the worst for forest fires, with over 1,000 fires recorded, several of which burned out of control and affected thousands of residents and businesses.
To give you an idea, that’s an increase of 87% from normal forest fire activity in Ontario over a 10-year average. The media was quick to report, almost sensationalizing these somewhat natural fire occurrences, driving potential tourists away from entire districts even though “out of control” fires burned in some cases well over 100 km away from popular vacation spots such as lodges, resorts, and campgrounds.
The fire happenings of the summer of 2018 are, without a doubt, a reflection of extreme weather characteristics that we're seeing more and more of. Nevertheless, this was a hot and dry summer which is in sharp contrast to the previous one, therefore I suspect the cold and wet will come.