'Classic' winter in Ontario (and it's not done yet)
Friday, February 28, 2014, 5:20 PM -
No real surprise: "February 2014 will long be remembered for the wealth of wintry weather that it brought to much of Canada," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham in his latest Insider Insight.
The entire winter as a whole for that matter, has many Canadians desperately longing for some warmer spring weather.
WHEN WILL SPRING ARRIVE? Tune into The Weather Network on TV on Monday, March 3 at 9 pm ET as we release the 2014 Spring Outlook
"With today's temps in the books, it's official," tweeted Weather Network Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott Friday afternoon, "Toronto and Ottawa have seen their coldest winter (Dec-Jan-Feb) in 20 years."
And things aren't set to warm up anytime soon.
"For those who are hoping for an early spring, unfortunately the news is not good," Gillham says. "We have some meteorological March madness on the way with temperatures still much colder than they should be. There's really no sign that we're going to burst into spring before at least mid-March."
Gillham had warned that it would be a "frightfully frigid finale to February," and record breaking lows are a sign of just that.
At least 24 communities in southern Ontario set new record low temperatures early Friday morning, some dating back to 1980.
So far this winter, the city of Toronto has already see 12 days with temperatures below -18°C.
Compare that with last winter, when the city only saw one day below -18°C.
In addition to the frigid temps, storm after storm has brought record snow cover to the region.
"Toronto's Pearson Airport has already broken the record of 81 consecutive days with snow on the ground and it looks like we have a shot of getting to 100," says Gillham.
There's been no shortage of lake effect snow and dangerous driving conditions as well.
On Thursday, snow squalls and whiteouts resulted in a 96-car pile-up south of Barrie.
Miraculously, no major injuries were reported, but police are urging drivers to continue to prepare for poor weather conditions.
Acting OPP Commissioner Brad Blair says motorists need to slow down, allow extra space between vehicles, and use full headlights in challenging conditions.
Wondering how the spring season will shape up? Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV on Monday, March 3 at 9 pm ET as we release the 2014 Spring Outlook.