New record set for warmest Feb. 3 in Waterloo Region

Despite Wiarton Willie's scepticism, it may feel like spring has sprung in Waterloo Region on Wednesday. But Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson says colder-than-normal temperatures are coming next week.

Environment Canada recorded a temperature of 9 C at the airport Wednesday morning

It might be 11 C on Wednesday, but rain is also in the forecast for Waterloo Region. (Amanda Grant/CBC)

Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, a new record was set in Waterloo Region for the warmest Feb. 3.

The temperature at the Waterloo Regional Airport Wednesday morning was 9 C, Environment Canada said. That is nearly two degrees warmer than the previous record of 7.1 C, set back in 1991.

But we're not done yet. Environment Canada said the region should see a high of 12 C by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The balmy temperatures are "well above our normal high for this time of year, which is -4," Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Geoff Coulson said in an interview with CBC News.

 With the warm temperatures Waterloo Region is expected to be hit by rain Wednesday, thanks to a winter storm coming up from the southwestern United States. 

The region will experience the southerly air from that system for the first part of the day while other areas of the province will get hit with colder temperatures, Coulson said.

"Kitchener will be rain this morning and going into a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Further north and in other parts of the province, this is truly a winter storm and so as you get into the Ottawa Valley and up into northeastern Ontario, they're going to be cold enough today to continue to get this event as a messy mix of freezing rain, ice pellets and snow," he told CBC News.

Cool-down coming

It has been a milder than normal winter in much of southern Ontario and Coulson said warm days could be due to El Nino. For winter sports enthusiasts like Coulson, who says he enjoys skiing, it hasn't been a great winter.

"A number of folks are saying they don't mind this at all, their commute into work has been a lot better without having to worry about things like freezing rain and snow," he said. "I've heard from others who enjoy snowmobiling and ice fishing and skiing and this has certainly not been a winter for them."

But while some will relish the spring-like temperatures on Wednesday, Coulson warned people shouldn't get too used to it. By Wednesday night, flurries are in the forecast.

"Looking a little further ahead into next week, [we're] looking for a bit of a cool down for the Kitchener-Waterloo area. We may be looking at, by the middle of next week, daytime highs only reaching -7 or -8, so actually somewhat colder than where we'd expect to be for this time of year," Coulson said.


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