February 22, 2017 9:39 pm
Updated: February 23, 2017 1:07 pm

Londoners ditch winter coats amid record-breaking warmer weather

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London residents were able to leave their winter coats at home on Wednesday thanks to unseasonable, record-breaking warmth.

The city’s warm weather record, 9.1 C, which was set back in 1981, was broken around 10 a.m. when a temperature of 9.8 C was recorded at London International Airport. The mercury would continue to rise throughout the day, eventually reaching 15 C in the afternoon.

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“There was one hour where the temperature hit 15.4 C, but we won’t know the official high until later this evening,” said Mark Schuster, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “(It) looks like the warm weather is going to continue into tomorrow and even into Saturday with record highs likely to be set both days.”

It should be welcome news for the many Londoners who spent Wednesday afternoon outdoors.

“We work over at Citi Plaza. We usually walk inside and when we found it was going to be such a beautiful day, we thought, ‘This is a good day to walk around the park instead of staying inside,’” said Cheryl, who went for a walk around Victoria Park with a few co-workers.

“I love it!” said Sharon, who was also going for a stroll in the park. “Although I worry a little bit about global warming because it seems really weird for it to be this warm in the middle of February, but it does make life easier that’s for sure.”

The warm weather was also welcome news for restaurant and bars with patios. It was also good for food trucks such Goodah Gastrotruck, which set-up shop on Clarence Street in the downtown.

Owner Chris Bunting said catering throughout the winter months meant the truck was ready to go.

“I watch the weather, I have three weather apps that I cross-reference and as soon as they started talking double-digits and possibly sunny, I’m like, ‘I can’t not have the truck out,’” he said.

“People are happy that they can just be outside and not have their heavy winter coats on, you know, go for a walk, (or) grab lunch. Normally they would have had to wait another month or so to see us.”

Meanwhile, Schuster said the recent spring-like temperatures can be attributed to air masses arriving from warmer parts of the U.S.

“We’ve been getting air masses with Pacific origin or from the southern States as opposed to the more typical air masses coming out of the northwest,” he said.

Schuster said a large low-pressure system will pass through the region on Saturday, marking the arrival of cooler temperatures for the second-half of the weekend and the start of the work week.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be an arctic outbreak by any means… Exactly how long that will stick around for is a little bit hard to say at this point,” he said.

Environment Canada said the London region will see temperatures dip moving toward the weekend.

Forecasters are calling for cloudy conditions on Thursday with a chance of early morning showers and a high of 16 C. That will drop a few degrees on Friday, where we can expect showers and a high of 12 C.

By the weekend, temperatures will slide to 2 C on Sunday from 8 C on Saturday.

The average high for this time of the year is around -0.5 C, according to Environment Canada.

With files from Scott Monich

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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