This is the kind of weather you're likely to be thankful for, as we look at a potential record-breaking weekend ahead for the Great Lakes region.
The shoulder seasons, which we often refer to as spring and fall, are typically known for their active storm tracks and drastic temperature swings. Wearing shorts and mittens during the same weekend can be quite common at this time of year. What's rare, however, is experiencing prolonged stretches of October warmth like the one we're about to see across Ontario.
Averaging the high temperature for the three long weekend days has resulted in only two Thanksgiving weekends surpassing 20°C in major cities like Toronto and Windsor, while not occurring in places like Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie since 2000. All four of these cities, and including everywhere in between, are looking at a Thanksgiving long weekend surpassing 20°C, which could be record-breaking in some cases.
It can come down to a matter of luck to have the mild weather align perfectly over a long weekend, but this October is looking to provide a prolonged stretch of warmth, which extends for days beyond Thanksgiving, too.
Records show Toronto has only had four occasions where daily temperatures reached 20°C for longer than a week -- 1947: 11 days, 1963: 8 days, 2007: 9 days, 2017: 9 days. We could end up seeing a stretch of 9-11 days this year, pushing the records already set.
The October warmth of 1947 and 1963 will be rivalled across the 401 corridor, with 11-14 consecutive days of 20°C possible in Windsor, while Ottawa could see 3-10 days coming up. The record warmth will extend all the way to James Bay, as well, with Moosonee seeing numerous days with temperatures climbing well into the 20s.
Despite being one of the warmest Thanksgiving weekends on record for many places, the warmth comes at the cost of a more unstable atmosphere and active storm track, which could also bring some unsettled weather and periods of rain throughout the weekend.
Saturday could also see some non-severe storms fire up in parts of southern Ontario -- from London to Owen Sound, stretching east to areas just west of the GTA and Barrie.
More sunshine is expected to splash through the forecast as we move through next week.
Ontario won't be the only region that's thankful for some late summer-like weather in recent years, either. In the east, New Brunswick and P.E.I. will indulge in the equivalent October warmth of 2017.
The warmest Thanksgivings have been on the Prairies when Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba both reached 23°C in 2010, while Medicine Hat, Alta., averaged 23° in 2015.
Thumbnail courtesy of Jo Totten, taken in Rutherglen, Ont.