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The warmest February day in Ottawa history was short-lived, with 16-degree drop over 5 hours

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It was the warmest February day in Ottawa history, but it was short-lived, with the temperature dropping 16 degrees in five hours after hitting a record high.

The temperature hit 12.8 C at 12 p.m., the warmest Feb. 28 in Ottawa history and the warmest temperature ever recorded at the Ottawa Airport in February. At 3 p.m., the temperature was 15.6 C. 

By 8 p.m., the temperature was just -1 C, a 16.6-degree drop. The wind chill makes it feel like -8. 

Environment Canada's forecast calls for the temperature to fall to -8 C by 12 a.m. with a wind chill of -18

A Flash Freeze Warning is in effect for the city of Ottawa, with Environment Canada warning of a "dramatic change in temperatures" this evening as a "sharp cold front" passes through the region.

"Temperatures are expected to go from well above freezing to below freezing in just a matter of a few hours," Environment Canada said in a statement.

There is a Flash Freeze Warning in effect for Kingston. Brockville, Prescott, Kemptville, Merrickville-Wolford, Cornwall, Alexandria, Morrisburg, Long Sault, Winchester, Arnprior, Calabogie, Pembroke, Petawawa, Cobden, Barry's Bay and Killaloe.

Environment Canada warns drivers and pedestrians will see "sudden icy conditions on roads and walkways" this afternoon and evening.

Ottawa's rolercoaster weather is already causing closures, as Calalbogie Peaks will be closed Thursday.

"Due to the extreme weather we are experiencing with rain and temperatures dropping over the next few days, Calabogie Peaks will be closed for skiing and snowboarding tomorrow, Thursday, February 29th," said Calalbogie Peaks in a statement on Wednesday.

"We will be going full flurries ahead with our snowmaking to help preserve our snow base for the rest of the ski season. And don't worry, there's lots of snow to shred! You can expect to see new snow at the top of both chairlifts on Whistilin' Paddy, Finnegans and Black Donalds."

It will be open again on Friday. 

Record-warm temperatures

The temperature of 12.8 C at 12 p.m. set a record for the warmest Feb. 28 in Ottawa history and the warmest February day in Ottawa.

The previous record for the warmest Feb. 28 is 9.9 C, while the warmest February day was 12.4 C, set on Feb. 27, 2000.

Ottawa enjoyed a high of 11.9 C on Tuesday, just shy of the record for the warmest Feb. 27.

Ottawa weather

Flurries this evening with the risk of ice pellets. Ottawa could see 2 cm of snow and ice pellets. The temperature will drop to -13 C overnight, with the wind chill making it feel like -23.

Thursday will see a mix of sun and cloud. High -7 C, with the wind chill making it feel like -23 in the morning and -14 in the afternoon.

The outlook for Friday calls for sunshine and a high of plus 5 C.

Saturday will be cloudy with a high of 8 C.

The normal temperatures for this time of year are a high of -1 C and a low of -10 C.

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