Farmzone: Temperature roller coaster continues in Ontario

Staff writers
March 8, 2012 — Wednesday's mild weather in southern Ontario had people hitting the links and patios. However, there's rain and cooler air in the forecast.

Sun one day, rain the next
Sun one day, rain the next

On Monday morning some places in southern Ontario were waking up to temperatures around -15 to -20. That prompted the city of Toronto to issue an extreme cold weather alert.

On Wednesday, temperatures soared into the double digits. In some cases, there was a temperature difference of 30 degrees from Monday to Wednesday.

Toronto's Pearson International Airport climbed all the way to 16.7, tying a record set back in 1987. Markham and Trenton were some of the other areas that managed to write a new page in the record break after Wednesday's mild conditions.

"March across Canada is definitely a month where we can see pretty dramatic temperature swings," says Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "That's because we have this cold winter air that's really battling with this warmer spring air. In March, we're also seeing more and more sunlight every day and that combined with breezy conditions can really up bump up the temperatures." 

Still, the spell of mild weather will be short-lived. Temperatures will begin to fall back to seasonal Thursday afternoon. There's also rain in the forecast.

Rain totals expected Thursday
Rain totals expected Thursday

"We have a cold front sinking south, and that's going to send temperatures plunging once again, before bouncing back up over the weekend," explains Ressler.

"Some parts of Ontario could see up to 15 mm of rain on Thursday. There's also the chance for wet snow through the day on Friday."

While some people have been embracing the milder conditions, there has been concern about what the lack of snowfall this winter in southern Ontario will mean in terms of soil moisture as we head into spring and summer. 

"When we look at the total precipitation from the winter we actually tended to have more rain instead of snowfall in through southwestern Ontario from Windsor to the Golden Horseshoe," says Ressler. "So in terms of total precipitation, we're actually coming out around the seasonal mark for the winter months." 

To find out more about what you can expect in the months ahead, check out the 2012 Spring Outlook.