The brief reprieve from winter is over, but not before breaking a couple of records.
Tuesday's temperature of 9.5 degrees Celsius nearly doubles the old record for Jan. 29, which was 5.3 C set in 1988, said Environment Canada's David Phillips.
Rainfall was also at a record high Tuesday. The 11.6 millimetres of rain was nearly double the rainfall record for Jan. 29, which was 5.6 mm set in 1969. The wet, warm weather had local conservation authorities keeping a watchful eye on waterways, and it made for some flooded roadways.
Wednesday started out on the same warming path, at least tying the old record of 9.6 C set in 1988. Phillips said Owen Sound reached that temperature at about 3 a.m. before things started to cool down. Most of southern Ontario enjoyed record breaking temperatures, with Niagara Falls clocking in at the highest – 17 C.
The warm system, which came up from the Gulf of Mexico, was responsible for the incredibly wild swing in temperatures. Phillips said that over a 48-hour period, the temperature went from -17 C to 9.5 C – a 28-degree difference.
“That's almost like an Owen Sound chinook,” Phillips said. “It's a dramatic swing. But this time of the year it's not uncommon. I've seen a lot of January thaws that end in a thud. They don't just ease out.”
Thursday we'll be back to -8 C – a drop of 18 degrees in about 24 hours. Snowfall will be part of our daily routine as well for the next week, Phillips said.
“It's going to be very boring. Every day is going to have some snow -- snowsqualls, flurries, but it's normal for this time of year.”
Spoiler alert for Wiarton Willie fans: Phillips predicted the groundhog won't be seeing his shadow Saturday morning – which means an early spring – because it's going to be cloudy and probably snowing.
And although we're back to winter, Phillips said it will be fairly short-lived, because mild weather is expected again by the second half of February.
“We're at the half way point,” Phillips said of winter. “There's more winter behind us than ahead of us, so if you're not a big fan of winter, you've got to feel good about this. You've survived the first half.”