Forecasts and Accuracy

Gus stated “Environment Canada has thousands of dollars worth of weather instruments and all I have is a $2.00 pig spleen.  I can compete with them and better their accuracy.”
Gus claimed 80-90% accuracy.

Jeff’s (and Gus‘) spleens are obtained from southwest Saskatchewan for prediction purposes.  The forecast is recommended for a 200 mile radius from where the pig was grown. 


This prediction is for the area centered around Tompkins, Sk. with some differences in the prediction for the area including the Cypress Hills and north, and the area around Eastend or south of the Cypress Hills . It is based on several spleens from the Gull Lake area and from the North Fork Ranch, east of Eastend. The winter and spring of 2012 will be relatively normal tending towards mild until mid February when it will begin to be colder than average. Precipitation in the Cypress Hills and north of the Hills will be average with some good snowfalls at the end of January and the end of February. South of the hills will be drier with little snow this year but a relatively wet spring. Precipitation in general will see a tendency towards for freezing rain and rain instead of regular snowfalls. Precipitation will stop at the end of May and will not return until the last half of June when it will be unseasonably cold and wet. South of the Hills there will be ample opportunity to seed however cold conditions should delay the seeding. For the Cypress Hills in general, the opportunity for seeding will be late but the break in precipitation at the end of May will provide an opportunity to get the seed in the ground and take advantage of the rain at the end of June.


The start of the month Jan 1 to 16 will be tending towards mild with no significant snowfall until the end of the month. The New Moon on Jan 23 will be colder however there will be wet snow or freezing rain around Jan 23. This will result in very poor winter traveling conditions. The period between Jan 23 and 29 should see some significant precipitation for the south west in general.


The start of the month will be tending towards mild but it will become unseasonably cold towards the end of the month starting on Feb 20 or 21. This colder weather will dominate spring conditions. Some precipitation on Feb 1 as a residual from the snows at the end of January will be followed by snow on Feb 20. There is a significant deviation in the spleen starting on Feb 20 and lasting for almost two months. This is interpreted as both snow and rain events at the end of the month and leading into March.


March 8 will see peak precipitation for the month. The existing snowpack will be maintained by cold temperatures in general however the temperatures will vary wildly over the month with a tendency for colder than normal. There will be rain at the end of the month starting on March 25. St. Patricks day and the end of the month will see rain.


The odd conditions will be maintained through April with rain intermixed with snow. The start of the month will be dominated by rain starting April 1 and lasting until April 25. Snow at the end of the month will start on the 25 and carry into May. This is not the same for the area south of the Cyress Hills where April will be much drier although temperatures will be similar. Easter weekend will be windy and runoff will be winding down to complete at this time south of the Cypress Hills. Runoff will linger longer north of the Hills. Easter Sunday and the period around Easter will be wet and cool.


May will be generally wet North of the Cypress Hills with significant rainfalls centred around May 17. The periods preceding and following this date will be intermittently wet. Some of this rain will extend south of the Cypress Hills but will be much less in volume. The rainy conditions will stop on May 30 but in general the month will be colder and wetter than normal.


The start of June will return to more average conditions and there will be no significant rainfall until later in the month. June 16 to the end of the month will see solid rain with temperature tending towards average. Although June will be wet, the potential for flooding will be much less than last year in the general area. The weather in the South West will be atypical of the rest of the province where the potential for flooding, particularly in the South East will remain high. Precipitation later in the spring in the form of late snows and rains will be problematic but not to the same extent as last year. There was a high degree of variability in the spleens used this year. What was common among the spleens inspected from the Eastend area was reduced precipitation. What was common with the spleens from North of the Cypress Hills was the tendency for a very cold spring. Jeff Woodward, PSP.

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