toronto weather record

Toronto's unusually warm December actually broke a record

Your winter attire probably didn't get as much use as expected in December, with regular unseasonably balmy temperatures recorded in Toronto to close out the year.

December already shattered one temperature record, with the warmest Dec. 16 of all time recorded in the city when Toronto enjoyed a spring-like mercury surge exceeding 17 C.

And it turns out the records weren't just limited to that day, as last month proved to be the first December on record where temperatures never fell below -5.3 C. These records go all the way back to 1840, just six years after Toronto took on its current name and 27 years before Confederation.

Using this same metric, six of the warmest ten Decembers on record all fell within the last decade, more evidence of rising global temperatures.

The numbers out of Toronto Pearson International Airport weren't quite as dramatic, where the highest minimum temperature of the month was measured at -7.8 C.

Still, that's only the third time in history that Pearson temperatures have stayed above -8 C throughout December.

While this sub-zero record isn't exactly beach weather, it's well above the median temperature of -12.95 C averaged out from 1991 to 2020, and a great deal warmer than Toronto's record December low of -30 C from all the way back in 1933.

The end of December was also the end for this streak of relatively warm weather, and by Jan. 3, Toronto was plunged into the deep freeze with the arrival of the extreme frigid lows typical of winter in the city.

Lead photo by

Phil Marion


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