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#7- March heatwave

Staff writers
December 24, 2012 — The Weather Network counts down the 10 biggest weather stories of 2012. #7- March heatwave in North America.

More than 250 heat records were shattered in Ontario alone
More than 250 heat records were shattered in Ontario alone

Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV at 8 pm ET tonight to find out what landed in the #6 spot. 

A heat wave in Winter? Not something you would expect here in Canada, but that's exactly what happened in March, when a ten-day stretch of warm weather

saw an unprecedented number of records broken across North America.

A very warm air mass spread northward, west of the Great Lakes, forcing temperatures to skyrocket. 

It then moved east, gracing communities from Manitoba to Nova Scotia with highs well over the norm. 

Many areas beat their all-time records for a single day. Including Toronto, where it reached 26 degrees on March 22nd. Petawawa nearly hit 29 the day before, beating its previous daily record by a whopping 17 degrees.

More than 250 records were shattered in Ontario alone. 

It was so warm for so long, that Spring Peepers were heard in parts of northern Ontario. The small frogs usually start their nocturnal chorus there in April.

The sudden change threw nature for a loop and that ultimately hurt Niagara fruit growers whose orchards blossomed far too early. 

When the cold weather returned in April, those blossoms were frozen. As a result, the soft fruit harvest saw a 20 to 30 per cent decline. 

The unprecedented warmth was accompanied by a record-dry winter across Ontario, with Toronto seeing just a third of its normal snowfall between September and March.

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