Recent heat wave: Awesome or eerie? (10 photos)Thursday, March 22, 2012 by: Donna Hopper
This past Tuesday marked the first day of spring and much of the province was rewarded with unseasonably high temperatures.
Over the last few days, many Northern Ontario communities, including Sault Ste. Marie, saw temperature records shattered by as much as 14 degrees Celsius.
Records that date as far back as 1903.
In fact, one year ago on the first day of spring, Environment Canada issued snowfall and freezing rain warnings that included a vast area expanding across Northern Ontario.
According to Environment Canada, yesterday's high for Sault Ste. Marie reached 26.7 degrees Celsius, where the seasonal average is only a high of 3 degrees.
SooToday.com decided to venture out into the beautiful day and found all the signs of, not just spring, but full-on summer; sandals and shorts, boardwalk joggers and fishermen, bare baby feet, cafe patios, and blooming flowers.
Even the Downtown Association had a doggie dish of fresh water outside its doors for passing parched pooches.
And we were informed today that for the first time in 93 years, the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Course will be opening in March.
The first tee off of the season will be tomorrow (Friday) at 10 a.m. at the Queen Street course, and head golf pro Jeff Hamilton says the public is welcome to come and give it a try.
"The conditions on the green right now are like they would be in May," Hamilton said.
Along our stroll yesterday, we stopped to ask our faithful readers what they thought about the recent heat wave.
Is our early spring awesome or eerie?
Is it a sign of global warming or just part of Earth's natural cycle?
"Going from winter, having no spring and right into summer, it's different to say the least. We're 100 percent going through global warming. A lot of other things too. It's got people thinking, we just don't talk about it," Rod told us as he enjoyed an afternoon of fishing on the boardwalk.
"Man always dominates itself to injury," he continued. "The truth lies in the weather, and cancer and other disease. In general, I don't think we make wise decisions on a whole."
"It's lovely because winter is always long and hard and dark," Jean told us. "But it's also freaky because it's not really supposed to be like this. I think the planet has its cycles, but man certainly hasn't helped it."
Katherine admitted she's all for an early summer and is happily embracing the current weather trend.
"It's awesome. Why not be outside in sandals and dresses in March? You can get three more months of summer if you start now," she said. "But it's hard to deny that global warming is happening. It's real. There's no turning back now."
"This feels good, but it's definitely a bad thing for the environment," James warned. "The Mayans might have something on their whole 2012 end of the world thing."
"People who deny that global warming is happening likely smoke too much ozone," he jokingly added.
Amanda and Jonathan, who we found walking their dog along the boardwalk, both agree that global warming is cause for concern.
"[This weather] is both awesome and frightening," Amanda said. "Global warming is both a planetary cycle and man-made. We're definitely speeding up the natural process."
Jonathan, however, feels that global warming is entirely man-made but admitted that he has not taken many steps to reduce his own waste or emissions in order to help the environment.
"It's like pulling teeth to get him to even recycle," Amanda said of Jonathan. "It's just laziness."
Our extreme weather shift seems to be subsiding and temperatures are forecast to return to close to seasonable normal levels in the coming days.
The following is full text of weather summary issued today by Environment Canada.
A HISTORIC WARM SPELL ACROSS ONTARIO WITH A PLETHORA OF NEW RECORD MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES EVERY DAY HAS RESULTED IN A MEMORABLE FEAST OF EARLY SUMMER.
THE 27.9 C MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE IN TIMMINS ON WEDNESDAY MARCH 21 IS THE HIGHEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE IN THE REGIONS NORTH OF A LINE FROM NORTHERN GEORGIAN BAY TO MATTAWA.
MANY LOCALES ALSO ENJOYED UNUSUALLY LONG SPELLS OF 4 OR 5 DAYS IN A ROW WHERE THE TEMPERATURE REACHED OR EXCEEDED THE 20 DEGREE MARK.
IT ALSO APPEARS THAT A FEW MORE RECORD MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES WILL BE SET TODAY ESPECIALLY IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO WHERE THE MERCURY HAS ONCE AGAIN PEEKED ABOVE 20 C IN AREAS NEAR THE MINNESOTA BORDER.
IT APPEARS THAT THIS MARCH WILL LIKELY BE THE WARMEST MARCH ON RECORD FOR SOME PLACES.
BELOW ARE RECORD MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS SET ON WEDNESDAY 21-MAR-2012.
LOCATION NEW RECORD PREVIOUS RECORD
KENORA 17.2 16.1 (1938)
SIOUX LOOKOUT 16.7 14.4 (1938)
FORT FRANCES 20.2 18.9 (1938)
THUNDER BAY 13.0 11.7 (1945,1957)
GERALDTON 11.6 8.9 (1987)
KAPUSKASING 24.6 11.7 (1946)
TIMMINS 27.9 15.0 (1946)
WAWA 16.7 11.3 (2000)
CHAPLEAU 26.2 15.6 (1938)
KIRKLAND LAKE 26.5 13.0 (1979)
EARLTON 25.4 15.0 (1946)
SAULT STE. MARIE 26.7 12.8 (1946)
SUDBURY 25.9 12.8 (2000)
NORTH BAY 25.2 15.0 (1903)
THIS WEATHER SUMMARY CONTAINS PRELIMINARY INFORMATION AND MAY NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFICIAL OR FINAL REPORT.