A February thaw over the last six days has made those ubiquitous snow piles all but disappear, prompting Environment Canada to issue a rainfall warning and Torontonians to exchange de-icers and shovels for umbrellas and rain boots.
Toronto was set to receive nearly 25 millimetres of rainfall in a 24- hour span since yesterday, said Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips. This amount wouldn’t warrant a warning during the summer months, but combined with a saturated snow pack, still frozen ground and record high temperatures, it could create flooding and other hazardous conditions, Phillips said.
“The problem is the ground is frozen and 25 millimetres of water plus the snow pack mean the snow disappears rapidly and the run-off is not percolating in the ground. Standing water and puddles are running into rivers and creeks ... and there’s the possibility of flooding,” Phillips said.
Toronto and Region Conservation issued a flood advisory citing dangerous conditions near rivers and streams and the possibility of street flooding.
Toronto Hydro received numerous reports of weather-related localized power outages. There were also reports of outages in areas across the Greater Toronto Area.
Temperatures in the GTA reached a record setting 8.9 C, yesterday the warmest it’s ever been on Feb. 11.
Last year, the temperature was an icy –18.2 C.