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Saturday will 'feel' 50-degrees warmer, explanation here

Brett Soderholm

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 8:12 AM - Compared to last Saturday, today will feel fifty degrees warmer for many residents of southern Ontario.

Daytime high temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-to-high single digits for much of southern Ontario on Saturday, or even the low double digits for residents of south-western Ontario.

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This warm-up is thanks to a powerful clipper that tracked to the north, allowing mild Pacific air to enter the south of the province Friday night into the morning, treating residents to an early taste of Spring.

These forecast temperatures will be in stark contrast to the record-shattering cold that gripped the province last Saturday, where it felt more like the -40’s for many when you factored in the wind chill.

But it wasn’t just last weekend that was cold: many residents would argue that the past two weeks have been the closest thing to a “classic winter” they’ve experienced this whole season, especially given the record warmth experienced in Ontario at the beginning of this month!

The image below showcases this classic winter weather experienced in Ontario and Quebec over the past week.

The above image, courtesy of WeatherBell, depicts the temperature deviation away from the climatological normal across North America during the past seven days. Here we clearly see a nation divided: from Manitoba to the Maritimes, temperatures were up to seven degrees below normal (highlighted by the blue and green colours) while most areas in western Canada and Newfoundland experienced temperatures as much as seven degrees above normal (orange and red colours).

For those in Ontario, an obvious question now arises: will the mild air expected this weekend signify an end to winter?

That’s not in the cards just yet.

After this clipper departs, colder air will once again push into the region, dropping temperatures to near seasonal by next week. This translates to daytime highs around the freezing mark for many in southern Ontario.

Toward the end of next week however, there is some preliminary indication that temperatures could once again drop to below seasonal. This means that despite winter being very late to arrive, we do not expect it to make an early exit either.

So while you are hopefully able to get out and enjoy this taste of spring this weekend, keep in mind that it is only just a taste for now.

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