03/20/2012 02:18 EDT | Updated 05/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Ontario gets blast of summer on first day of spring

Many parts of Ontario saw temperatures higher than 20 C on Tuesday, making the first day of spring look more like the first day of summer.

Environment Canada’s senior climatologist, David Phillips, said that in some ways, it seems as though Mother Nature skipped a season.

“It’s almost as if we skipped winter and we’ve had our spring and we’re into our summer almost,” Phillips told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Tuesday.

By the mid-afternoon, the mercury had hit 20 C in Toronto, the latest in a spate of warm-weather days the city has seen this month.

“It think it was March 11 that we had double-digit temperatures in Toronto and we’ve been that way ever since,” Phillips said.

Anna Sorbera was among the Torontonians enjoying the weather by taking a seat at a downtown patio on Tuesday.

“I feel like it’s July. It doesn’t feel like March, I can’t get over this,” Sorbera said.

The temperature continued to increase in Toronto, hitting 21 C by the supper hour.

CBC’s Natalie Kalata reported that it was the city's hottest first day of spring since 1976.

Warm right across Ontario

Double-digit temperatures were expected throughout southern and southwestern Ontario on Tuesday.

In Windsor, Environment Canada reported that the temperature was 27 C as of 3 p.m., marking the third straight day that the city had seen a daily record.

The temperature topped out at 24 C in Guelph on Tuesday afternoon, just below the 25 C weather in London and Kitchener-Waterloo and the 26 C high in Sarnia.

In Hamilton, a smog alert was issued on Tuesday afternoon, while the temperature hit 23 C.

In eastern Ontario, Environment Canada reported that the temperature stood at 25 C in Ottawa in the mid-afternoon, compared to 24 C in Brockville and 25 C in Cornwall.

The warm weather extended into northern parts of the province, including in Timmins, where the temperature climbed to 26 C in the afternoon, with well-above average temperatures also occurring in Greater Sudbury (22 C) and Thunder Bay (22 C).

Phillips said that while Ontarians may be enjoying the unexpected hot spell, they should be concerned about its presence.

“I think we should sort of enjoy the weather, but be concerned by the climate,” he said.

“I think that we are seeing changes to our seasons, particularly in the winter.”