NTP confirms tornado struck Parkhill, Ont. on Sunday, while downburst hit Ailsa Craig

Damage recorded near Parkhill, Ont. (left) and Ailsa Craig, Ont. via Northern Tornadoes Project/Twitter

The Northern Tornadoes Project has confirmed storm damage in Parkhill, Ont., on Sunday was due an EF1 tornado as well as a weak downburst while damage in Ailsa Craig was due to an EF1 downburst.

According to the NTP, the EF1 tornado in Parkhill touched down at roughly 9:55 p.m. Sept. 12, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 150 km/h. The tornado tracked across the ground for just under seven kilometres with a path 300 metres wide. At the same time, an EF0 downburst also developed in the area with a maximum wind speed of 115 km/h.

In Ailsa Craig, the NTP says an EF1 downburst hit the region at 10 p.m. Sept. 12, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 150 km/h. Both incidents caused tree and structural damage.

Read more: Heavy thunderstorms bring downed tree limbs, power outages to London, Ont. region

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Tornadoes and downbursts both involve damaging winds but their formation and the resulting damage associated with them are different.

David Sills with the Northern Tornadoes Project says in a tornado, winds from the ground converge toward the tornado and move up into the storm causing a long, narrow path of damage. In the simplest terms, the air moves from ground to sky.

In a downburst, however, the air moves from sky to ground. Sills says rain-cooled air descends from the thunderstorm and then spreads out at ground level, generating winds that often diverge instead of converge, creating damage over a wider area.

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