Brace yourselves, friends. Weather experts are calling for a “spring-like” storm in Toronto this week and it’s going to be intense.

A special weather statement has been issued by Environment Canada, calling for heavy rainfall of 15 to 25 mm on Thursday.

The rain will be accompanied by powerful winds gusting 70 to 90 km/h. The strongest winds are expected for areas downwind of Lake Erie.

“Rain will begin over extreme southwestern Ontario early Thursday morning and advance northeastward through the day,” says Environment Canada.

“A brief period of freezing rain is possible Thursday morning for areas inland from the Great Lakes.”

By Thursday evening, the rain will taper off and southwesterly winds will continue from Thursday afternoon into the evening.

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The heavy gusts and downpour could cause localized flooding in areas with poor drainage, as well as “isolated utility outages” as a result of broken branches.

The Weather Network says the impending storm is a “spring-like system” that will spread across much of southern Ontario.

Mild weather will accompany the intense conditions.

“Very mild temperatures will dominate next week, with daytime highs more typical of March and April,” said The Weather Network.

As for what the remainder of February has in store, it looks like milder weather will continue to hold strong.

From mid and late February, “above-normal temperatures are expected to dominate from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada,” the outlet says.

February is “a month that will be fickle with changeable temperatures,” and at this point, it looks like March will be similar.

And if Wiarton Willie’s prediction proves to be correct, Ontario is in for an early spring this year.

In Wiarton Willie we trust!