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Toronto breaks 86-year-old temperature record

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Toronto broke an 86-year-old weather record on Friday as temperatures climbed above 13 C during an unseasonably warm February.

Unofficial Environment Canada data showed the temperature at Toronto Pearson International Airport reached 11.4 C at 10 a.m., smashing the previous record of 10.6 C set in 1938.

The temperature hit 13.4 C at 12 p.m. and peaked at 15.1 C by 4 p.m., according to the federal weather agency.

Speaking to CP24 Friday morning, Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada, called the weather “quite unusual.”

“It's almost like full spring,” Phillips said. “I mean, these are temperatures that you'd normally see at the end of April, not days before Valentine's Day.”

Phillips said Toronto City weather records, which have been kept since 1841 and measure the temperature in the city instead of by the airport, show the warmest Feb. 9 ever recorded was 10 C. So, Friday's temperature effectively breaks a 183-year-old record as well.

 A mix of sun and clouds will join Friday’s relative warmth with a risk of isolated showers in the afternoon.

Saturday will be mainly cloudy with a chance of morning and midday showers and a high of 10 C. Temperatures will pull back to 3 C on Sunday ahead of a chance of isolated flurries early next week.

Friday warmth could be just a 'teaser': Phillips

For those looking forward to an early spring, Friday’s forecast is more than welcome – although it likely won’t stick around, Phillips said.

“Our forecast is saying that we're going to see, over the next month, more seasonable temperatures,” Phillips explained. “So maybe a return to temperatures below freezing even during the daytime and more snow.”

On average, Toronto sees 40 centimetres of snow, or a third of the city’s total winter snowfall, after Feb. 9, Phillips said.

So far, Toronto’s winter has been relatively mild, with the city’s greatest snowfall this season measuring only 5.6 centimetres.

“My sense is this is kind of a little teaser. It's not the full [winter] effect, but it sure adds to the kind of the openness and the softness of the winter that we've had so far,” Phillips added.

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