Warm weather melts Toronto as city embraces 1st sign of spring

Warmer weather has arrived in Toronto with double-digit temperatures in the forecast all week, Environment Canada says.

'Get out there and enjoy it right now,' meteorologist says on heels of ice storm that froze southern Ontario

People walk in downtown Toronto as warmer weather arrives in the city. Double-digit temperatures are forecast throughout the upcoming week, Environment Canada says. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Warmer weather has arrived in Toronto with double-digit temperatures forecast throughout the upcoming week, Environment Canada says.

The federal weather agency called for a mainly sunny Saturday and "wall-to-wall sunshine" on Sunday and Monday, according to Mark Schuster, senior meteorologist for Environment Canada, based in Toronto.

"I would say, get out and enjoy it right now," he said. "People have been waiting a long time for it. It's the perfect time to go out and maybe clean up some of the mess from the trees from that ice storm a week ago."

Schuster predicted temperatures of around 13 and 14 C are seasonal for Toronto. 

"We're pretty much right where we're supposed to be. For the next several days, into the start of new work week, we're going to have some beautiful spring-time weather." 
Two workers plant flowers in a planter in downtown Toronto on Saturday. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Saturday's high will be 13 C, though temperatures will fall back to a low of 1 C overnight. 

On Sunday, the high is expected to reach 15 C, with a low of 3 C. Monday's forecast is calling for a balmy 16 C, with a low of 6 C.

Since water temperatures are still quite cold, areas near Lake Ontario will be a few degrees cooler on average, he added.

Double-digits thaw ice storm blues

The double-digit temperature comes exactly one week after a spring storm brought ice pellets, freezing rain and rain to southern Ontario, downing trees and hydro lines.

The term "ice storm" is not strictly defined by Environment Canada, Schuster said, but the weather last weekend qualified as one, given the amount of ice pellets and freezing rain that hit the region.

A very large ridge of high pressure from Western Canada is responsible for the warmer weather, Schuster explained. 
Signs of spring are evident in Toronto. Here, a plant pokes above the ground, one week after a major spring storm brought ice pellets, freezing rain and rain to the city. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

On Tuesday, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud. The day is expected to start off fairly sunny but to become increasingly cloudy as a low pressure system moves in.

On Wednesday, there is a chance of showers but the rain is not expected to be significant.

Cool days, nights still possible

As for the end of winter, Schuster said there could be a few flurries here and there and some unsettled weather before summer finally arrives. There could be cool days and cool nights, he added.

"Well, in terms of getting major winter storms, it looks like winter is over. It doesn't seem like there's going to be any of these coming up anytime soon," Schuster said.

"But can we still see some cooler weather? Absolutely. It's not atypical to see temperatures still dipping below zero at night, even into May." 

With files from Muriel Draaisma