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Deadly thunderstorm hits Ontario

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

July 29, 2010 — The hot and humid conditions in southern Ontario Wednesday were enough to spark severe thunderstorms across the region.

Heavy rain in Brantford leads to localized flooding
Heavy rain in Brantford leads to localized flooding

All the ingredients were there for severe thunderstorms to develop in southern Ontario Wednesday.

When the warm, humid air mass clashes with the cold front, we get our thunderstorms, explains The Weather Network's meteorologist Danya Vettese. The region saw temperatures hit 30C, feeling more like 40 with the humidity.

As a result, we started seeing thunderstorms through much of southern Ontario in the early afternoon hours, says Rob Davis, another meteorologist here at The Weather Network. Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for areas all the way from Windsor through to Peterborough.

There were widespread reports of hail, damaging winds and severe downpours. Hamilton in particular reported upwards of 30 mm of rain during the afternoon hours. That was enough to cause some localized flooding on city streets. But the biggest concern with these storms was the lightning. A 68-year-old man was struck by lightning on West Mountain in Hamilton and died after he reportedly hid under a tree for protection from the rain. Paramedics worked to revive the body, but were unable to do so.

This isn't the first time that lightning has turned fatal in Ontario this month. You can check our Lightning Safety Tips for a list of what to do when a thunderstorm strikes.

Conditions improve for Thursday
Conditions improve for Thursday

This latest round of active weather also downed 40 trees in Hensall, which is a community in Huron County. Authorities were sent to the scene to assess the damage there.

The low continued to push into the Maritimes leaving a dry, sunny and less humid day for southern Ontario today. That means you can throw open the windows and take a breath of fresh air after the recent muggy conditions. Temperatures will be hovering around the mid twenties making things feel much more comfortable.

If you have photos from this latest storm, we'd love to see them. You can upload them to our Your Weather Gallery section of the website.

With files from Rayna Taylor

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