Three more tornadoes confirmed in Ontario

The tornado outside of Arthur, Ont. on Aug. 7, 2013.
The tornado outside of Arthur, Ont. on Aug. 7, 2013. David T. Chapman

TORONTO – Ontario’s tornado count increased by three on Friday.

Environment Canada confirmed that three more tornadoes occurred between July 18 and Aug. 7, bringing the count to 17 so far this season.

On July 18, strong thunderstorms went across a region north of Lake Huron. Tree damage and minor structural damage were reported in an area just north of Massey, about 85 km southwest of Sudbury.

An investigator assessed the damage and determined that the path was 250 m wide and 7 km long, producing winds around 135 km/h to 175 km/h. The tornado was classified as an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale which measures the damage caused by tornadoes.

A tornado moved across an area about five kilometres northwest of Haliburton on Aug. 7, uprooting trees and snapping branches. A damage team conducted an aerial survey and determined that the tornado was an EF-1.

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In addition to these tornadoes, Environment Canada also added one that was previously classified as a waterspout. A waterspout, by definition, is a tornado that occurs over water.

Waterspouts usually form from cumulus clouds and are generally weaker and less destructive than tornadoes.

On Aug. 7, a waterspout was confirmed over Head Lake in the northern part of the Kawartha Lakes region. Environment Canada decided to include the waterspout in the tornado count because in this case, it was a waterspout associated with a storm system.

On average, Ontario gets 12 reported tornadoes a season, which runs from late April to early October.

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