Balmy weather sends temperature records tumbling
Published Sunday, March 18, 2012 10:02PM EDT
Temperature records fell in parts of the country Sunday as summer-like weather continued during what should be the frigid last few days of winter.
In sunny Ottawa, the temperature hit 24.1 Celsius, shattering a record high set in 1966 by a whopping 8 degrees.
CTV Ottawa's Eric Longley reported Sunday that the average high for the city at this time of year is 3 C, and it's not until mid-June that average temperatures reach Sunday's high.
Longley said there was a 30 per cent chance of "daytime heating showers" and thunderstorms cropping up in the area overnight and into Monday.
"(I) wouldn't be talking about those normally at this time of the year," he said.
The forecast temperature for Monday is 24 C, he said.
Meanwhile, Montrealers flocked to patios on Sunday, basking in a bright sun and a high of 23 C. The city shattered its previous record of 14 C, which was set in 2010.
And in Winnipeg, temperatures reached 20 C, shattering the previous high of 8.8 C set in 2000. On Monday, temperatures in the Prairie city will soar into the realm of summer weather with a forecast of 25 C.
Seasonal temperatures for Winnipeg hover at about 0 to -1 C.
Adrenaline Adventures rushed to pack up its snow tubing attraction ahead of schedule to take advantage of the warm weather. The company was busy setting up its rope park on Sunday.
"It happened so incredibly quickly," Jason Rohs told CTV Winnipeg. "Last weekend we had plus-5, plus-6 temperatures. We had enough snow base on the hill that we were able to get through Saturday and Sunday. But this weekend…we quickly transitioned into our spring and summer activities."
Given the early thaw, RCMP in the province are warning Manitobans to stay off the fast-melting ice of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
Winnipeg's hot spell will be brief. By Wednesday, temperatures will dip to 5 C.
By then, the spring heat wave will move east to Ontario and New Brunswick. Both Toronto and Ottawa are expected to see temperatures rise to 25 C by mid-week. In Fredericton, the Wednesday forecast is for sun and 21 C.
Canada's West and East Coasts won't fare as well. Vancouver, which normally beats the country to spring weather, is stuck in single-digit temperatures.
Winter will roar back to Alberta as temperatures in Calgary dip to -4 on Wednesday. And winter is still a force in Newfoundland and Labrador. Below-zero temperatures are forecast in St. John's next week.
The spring thaw arrived in Canada about 10 days ago and made appearances across the Prairies and Central Canada. In some places temperatures were about 12 degrees warmer than usual.
Warm air coming north from the United States has had more of an effect than it usually would due to the lack of snow on the ground in many places. Instead of being cooled off by the melting snow, the air stays just as warm as when it arrived, Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips said earlier this week.
Phillips told CTV's Canada AM that the spring warm spell could mean a summer of increased drought and insects.
There is also a high likelihood of more forest fires due to the heat and dryness, he said, noting some are already starting in Alberta.