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Morning storms flash across southern Ontario


Dangerous lightning strikes in Brampton, ON. Click the image for a look at stormy scenes across the province.
Dangerous lightning strikes in Brampton, ON. Click the image for a look at stormy scenes across the province.

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

June 7, 2011 — A series of intense thunderstorms woke many southern Ontario residents from their sleep early Tuesday morning. Lightning also caused some damage.

Hail came crashing to the ground in Chatham, ON.
Hail came crashing to the ground in Chatham, ON.

A combination of frequent lightning, roaring thunder, heavy downpours and powerful winds gave people in southern Ontario a bit of a wake-up call on Tuesday morning.

Intense storms fired up across the province in the early hours of the day, making noise and causing a scene in several communities.

“There was quite a bit of thunderstorm activity around London, Woodstock and St. Thomas,” said Rob Davis, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “People living near the shorelines of Lake Huron also had some very active weather, followed by those along the shorelines of Lake Erie.”

At times, winds in some parts of the province were gusting up to 100 km/h. The result was widespread power outages.

In the city of Chatham, large hail came crashing to the ground. In Toronto, frequent lightning led to hydro damage. In Caledon, northwest of Toronto, two houses caught fire, possibly due to lightning strikes. No injuries have been reported.

Humidex values forecast this week
Humidex values forecast this week

Chris Scott, another Weather Network meteorologist, says thunderstorm season is well underway in Ontario, but these cells were more typical of storms you might see on the Great Plains of the United States.

“(There was) a tremendous amount of lightning, wind damage ... and heavy rain,” he says. “That's what happens when you see this real clash between the cold air that's moving off to the north and the heat and humidity that's on the way for the next couple of days.”

The skies have since cleared in most parts of southern Ontario, and Davis says there is some warm, sunny weather on tap for Tuesday afternoon.

“We're looking at mainly sunny conditions, with hot temperatures and high humidity,” he explains. “Looking at a daytime high of 29°C in Toronto, feeling like 37. It will be even warmer in the southwestern part of the province.”

The humidity will last through Wednesday, when a cold front will sweep through, leading to cooler and drier conditions on Thursday.

With files from Alexandra Pope

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